This is another one of those quarterly amazing punk rock bashes we have in the centre of the North Wales coast… Always for charity and always well attended… Tonight’s benefactors are Llandudno’s Tudno FM Radio Station…
[pics mainly by rich phillips]


Talking of benefits, Manchester’s Benefit State make another foray into the badlands of North Wales and begin proceedings. It’s hot in here and there’s a lot of people sweating and drinking… Rich Phillips tells me I’ve seen this band before (at The North in Rhyl last November… I see a lot of bands), and yes I do recall their perfect sound. Benefit State are a weird blend of old school-punk with some Dire Straits / Pink Floyd guitaring thrown in! Or the Punk Floyd Knopfler Effect as we like to call it.  Their frontman paced up and down and betrayed a liking for cake and (I think…) girls from Salford, and all with a sense of an angered tongue in cheek.


Maines
are next and fuck me they’re LOUD – so loud that the bass drum and toms couldn’t be heard – this did little to detract from the fact that I bow before their eminence… They’re in a league of their own – Maines Premier Division Champions for the 4th year running… There was a band from Colwyn Bay about 15 years ago called Capguns – Maines are what they would’ve sounded like had they continued and not been governed by the strict post-HC rules. Maines are the shining sunbeam through post-apocalyptic clouds and my only gripe is that they don’t play live enough…

We (Spam Javelin) were originally billed to play this night when it was first announced a few months ago. Then we were offered a (covert) mini-tour of the US. Then we were arrested at the airport in Minneapolis. Then we were sent on the next plane out (which was to Iceland). So we found ourselves back on the green green grass and once news of our felony got out, we were invited back to play this TudnoFM benefit gig.
Here’s what promoter Mark Watson-Jones had to say…
Spam Javelin have been working their holey socks off and with the latest lineup and recordings had really hit a sickly sweet spot that had justified crazy punk preaching missions around the planet, so we all shared their guttingedness when the plans went awry.  Small consolation to them to have this local return but then again hopefully good therapy to get over the shellshock of the US border war.  Maybe fried minds and jet lag didn’t make for the most precise of performances compared to their recent outings, but they remained entertaining and in the hearts of the crowd, they will be back on the offensive(ness) in no time at all.



Habits
playing a rare hometown gig away from their countrywide jaunts never fail to impress. I saw them at Rebellion Festival in Blackpool a couple of weeks ago where they absolutely smashed it… I mean… REALLY FUCKING SMASHED IT. This was somewhat a little more subdued than that Sunday afternoon, yet was still pedal to the metal stuff. I saw Habits hit dizzy heights as a 5-piece, then they separated and had to pick up the pieces as a streamlined version with a new bassist… It took a few gigs to get back up there, but they are here now…


I knew nothing about Gets Worse apart from they were from somewhere over the Pennines and that they were brutal… They had what has become known as The Post Raffle Graveyard Slot (only joking!) – yes the raffle and door takings are in aid of our local community radio station Tudno FM, on which both Mark Watson-Jones and myself host shows.
Harrowed (maybe on acid) was the first thing that struck me about Gets Worse, which is a compliment of the highest order… They threw their power-violence songs out at such speed I’m pretty sure sonic booms were going off all over Old Colwyn. Playing their superb LP ‘Snubbed’ it took five songs to realise it should’ve been at 45rpm and not 33 – it’s that fast!!