Monday, 11 June 2012

Punk Rock Life 2012 pt.1

Well I'm right now sat in the kitchen of Mr Wankys wank bunker, deep in the heart of the English countryside, first week of my summer adventures under my belt, and so far its been a lot of fun!

After leaving Scotland on Saturday the 2nd, I traveled by train down to Bradford, the most exciting part of which was the change at Carlisle, the town of my birth, where I managed to catch a snap of this interestingly named street, named in order to help any drunken Scots who might have stumbled over the border from Dumfries, or maybe fell asleep on the last train to Kilmarnock?

The gig at the 1 in 12 club was ok, but a bit quieter than I expected, also sucked that the cafe wasn't open to the public, but me and xLeox still managed to find a cheap and tasty curry near by. Stand out bands at the gig for me were FUK and Drunk In Hell, the former playing noisy hardcore punk with a blidingly good drummer and the latter playing crushingly slow feedback heavy hardcore/doom. Both are well worth checking out. What I caught of Last legion Alive was also pretty rocking, Boltthrower/Axegrinder kinda stuff but I was too caught up in chatting/hobnobbing etc! Headlining the night was noise heroes The Wankys. Lots of new songs which the crowd seemed happy enough with, lots of crazy dancing and a nice party atmosphere throughout their set, and they invited me up to sing a couple of songs for them too which seemed to get up some of the crusties noses, but was a lot of fun! The night was finished off with a legnthy drive back to Wankys HQ. I was so tired that I started hallucinating that people were lying on the road or jumping out in front of us as we approached our destination, and I was really glad that Mr Wanky had sacked off the original idea of having me drive the van back that night.
all crusties spend loud bath night (photo by Chris Agitate)

The following week had been set aside to record some new Formby Channel material, and Sunday was spent preparing for the arrival of the third member of Formby Channel, Beryl. The practice room was tidied and a number of song ideas were thrown between Mr Wanky and myself in anticipation of the week ahead. Mr Wanky provided was great relaxed atmosphere in which to work and at the end of the week we had written and recorded seven new songs. Whether they all make the grade after the final mix down remains to be seen, but we are pretty happy with what we achieved and I don't think the Formby fans will be disappointed.

where magic is made

The weeks recording was broken up nicely with a trip to 'The Shed' in Leicester to watch some crappy bands play with the mighty Toecutter. I'd organised some gigs for these lads in Scotland a few years ago and thought they were 'not bad' at the time but maybe not 'exceptional'. Thursday nights gig deff pushed them into the latter camp. Great new songs, nice stage presence, and maybe just a smidgen of 'hanging with the lads and getting the craic' all added to my enjoyment of their performance, and the majority of the crowd was feelin it too. great show. Other hightlights of this gig were Jimmy from Toecutters 1991 Dishcharge Japanese tour long sleeve, which was once owned by Mick Harris (which he of course refused to part with for love or money) and Fran Toecutters recollection of me selling him a copy of Ploppy Pants at the 1 in 12 when totally out his box on ketamine. I think the fact that his long sleeve had bore witness to a live rendition of the awesomeness that is Funk E Dialation was lost on Jimmy and Fran's tale brought a smile to my face thinking of how wankered some of the folk are that I sell my zine too. I hope the others are as happy to wake up next to a copy of Ploppy Pants as Fran was.

the shirt that saw too much

Punk joke 1. Q. When is a gig not a gig? A. When it's a fest!

Punk joke 2. Q. When is a fest not a fest? A. When it's a punks picnic!

I finished off my week in England with a trip up to Nottingham for the annual Nottingham Punx Picnic. I was hoping to see some of the sights around the town such as Nottingham Castle and the Robin Hood Museum (!) but the venue was a good bit away from the town centre and we only arrived shortly before the 'picnic' was due to start. I'm having a laugh about the 'picnic' part of the name here, but for all I know there was an army of punks drinking in the park all afternoon (food is obviously a big no no at punx picnics) but the park wasn't close to the venue, the Sumac Social Centre, and so the existence of the picnic will have to remain a mystery.

Back to the gig part of the day, the first band up played weird kind of alt rock/punk stuff, very talented musicians but they played too long and pushed the timetable for the night back 20 minutes, bringing back memories of last years Asian tour where the support bands played way past their time slots leaving Atomgevitter with 10 minutes to fill at the end of the night, would Oi Polloi (tonight's headliners) be left in a similar situation? Next up was The Wankys again, but today I wasn't in the crowd but 'on-stage' with the guys as guest lead vocalist. It was really fun and we got the crowd warmed up nicely. Surprisingly there was a lot of people there who had never heard of The Wankys or so it would seem from the number of remarks on how good my band was from the punks afterwards ha ha ha, thanks! Our set also yielded the first sighting of Chris Black for the evening, we should been running a book on that one.

I didn't see too much of the next two bands as I needed to cool down and wanted to hangout and enjoy the chat with The Wankys and Oi Polloi guys. What i saw of Flue Sniffers was ok, shouty hardcore punk, good but they played a bit too long, and Endless Rope seemed quite thrashy on the night, but listening to them now they seem a lot more emo-y! The Polloi of course tore the house down as headliners, lots of classics mixed with some new tunes, they played around an hour (running over the curfew by 45 mins thanks to the supports playing to long...) but they could easily have played a whole other set, and the crowd was cheering for more for a full 10 minutes after they stopped. Highlights included 'Rich Scumbag' 'When Two Men Kiss' and of course 'Let the Boots Do The Talking'. And as expected the only person to fall through the drum kit mid-song was Mr Rumbly-tumbly himself Chris Black. Oi Polloi's new lp Duisg! is out now and a must for all fans of Post-Croi Street Crust, get it!

Oi, Oi, Oi!

The night was rounded off with the usual round up of alcho-casualties (Beryl), public sex with stuffed toys (Gilb), and discussions on the merits Comu-nonce Oi! music (Ollsen).

So tomorrow I'm off on the Megabus express to the home of chocolates, waffles and basement paedo's, yup you know it, Belgium! Mega Armageddon Whirlwind Thanx to Jan & Mr Wanky for the hospitality and stay tuned for more adventures!

PS. Mr Wanky just put on the first Crow lp - WOW!


Formby Channel:

The 7"ep is still available from


Sumac Centre Nottingham:

Oi Polloi: