Plus barn-stormers The Minor Discomfort Band and geekgrind from Chestburster.
On a swelteringly sunny day in June, there’s nothing quite like cramming into a windowless shoebox of a venue to watch three frantically good punk bands.
The Smokehouse starts to pack out around 8.30pm, just in time for Chestburster to take the stage. The band do a fantastic job of revving up the crowd. Each of their songs is themed around a different horror movie and, if that’s not great enough, they serve it up in 40 second blasts of heavy grind.
They try and fool us by introducing themselves as a shit thrash metal band, but I’m totally overjoyed watching them. They sound like waking up to 17 cups of coffees being thrown in your face; every moment is hilarious, enlivening and face-meltingly fast.
Continue reading “Gig Review: The Grabowskis @ The Smokehouse (03/06/2017)”
Thank you for playing the way you play: Descendents charge through 30+ songs and 2 encores in London.
The opportunity to see Descendents live in the UK is not one that you miss.
This is the second date of their Hypercaffium Spazzinate Euro Tour, and their only UK show. Descendents are forefathers of pop-punk and melodic hardcore. They formed in California in 1977, they’ve had 9 different members, 7 albums, 5 record labels and 4 long-term hiatuses. Their Milo caricature is ubiquitous on t-shirts and a popular tattoo, and yet it is still recognised as an emblem of good taste.
As a band who once said that they ‘couldn’t sell out a telephone booth’, they’ve single-handedly packed 2,300 people into Kentish Town Forum this Sunday night. I’m expecting punks from far and wide: die-hards who first heard them in 1982, Fat Wreck-era fans obsessed with Everything Sucks, newbies who’ve heard they’re legendary, and plenty of lucky boyfriends and girlfriends who have been dragged along. Continue reading “Gig Review: Descendents @ Kentish Town Forum (04/06/2017)”
June is blessed with staggeringly good line-ups – these are the best of the best.
June has the potential to either be a shining success or a hopeless disaster. Based on recent voting catastrophes, I’m fully prepared for an awful result on June 8th, and I do sometimes wish that shining beacons like Corbyn wouldn’t come along a give us leftie liberal types hope.
So, while you prepare to lose every shred of faith you have in humanity all over again, distract yourself with this splendid array of socially-conscious noise-mongers. There is no doubt that June holds some of the most exciting punk gigs on 2017 so far, and acts will be even angrier, feistier and more politically-charged than usual!
This is how I’ll be ignoring our inevitable doom:
Punx Inna Jungle – The Final Sozzle!
- Where: Antwerp Mansion, Manchester
- When: Saturday 17th June
- Who: INSANELY GOOD LINEUP ALERT
- Tickets: £7-10 from here
Known for being an absolute mauler of a night out, I’m seriously chuffed to be heading up to Manchester for the last ever Punx Inna Jungle. I can already taste the hangover.
MPF co-captains Anarchistic Undertones have pulled out all the stops with their last line-up, giving something for everyone. Drumroll please!
- Politically-charged ska-punk from faves Faintest Idea
- Riotous drunken folk punk from Matilda’s Scoundrels
- Enjoy a punch in the face from Grand Collapse’s unrelenting melodic thrash
- Throwing Stuff giving it hardcore thrash
- Scottish veterans PMX playing melodic punk
- Chaotic anarcho-ska from Wadeye
- Tech-metal-meets-skate-punk brilliance delivered by Fair Do’s
- Energetic punk fun from London DIY kings Wonk Unit
All this chaos will be taking place in the inappropriately named Antwerp Mansion. Apparently it’s never been a squat, but it definitely has that crusty, lived-in air, adequately setting the scene for debauchery that will last into the small hours. I look forward to seeing you all there, although there’s a good chance I may not remember it!
Continue reading “Gig Guide: Bands You Need to See in June”
You can taste the anticipation in the Borderline before Gnarwolves take the stage. I’m primed, in position, and I’ve made a tactical effort to finish my drink so I don’t end up wearing it.
Here are 5 things I learned tonight:
- The revamped Borderline is perfectly designed for stage-diving pandemonium
- Kamikaze Girls are fucking awesome (okay, I kinda knew that already)
- Shut Up is destined to be the best song on the new Gnarwolves album
- Bottle to Bottle has become so close to my heart that hearing it live makes me tear up
- I have just seen the best show of the year so far
Continue reading “Gig Review: Gnarwolves @ The Borderline (20/05/2017)”
UK punk legends Snuff with Youth Man and Not Tonight & The Headaches in Camden’s favourite basement.
At 28 years old, it’s entirely possible that I’m the youngest person in the room for tonight’s Snuff show, but you wouldn’t know it from the sheer energy and enthusiasm buzzing through the audience. Down the front I’m rubbing elbows with greying, toothless punks who no doubt know a great deal more about being in a pit that I ever will. While waiting for the band to come on, I get chatting to a guy who is at least 20 years my senior, who is lamenting the fact he wasn’t around to have caught Snuff when they first formed in the late ‘80s. He assures me that it doesn’t matter how long it took you to discover the band, what matters is that you’re here now and you’re ready to throw down.
And throw down we do: enthralled as ever by the magnetism of the mosh pit (why is it so appealing to leap into a brawl of sweaty strangers?) I find myself dancing, jumping and wrestling my way through a high-octane set of shout-along classics, danceable instrumental romps and rarities from Snuff’s extensive back-catalogue.
Continue reading “Gig Review: Snuff @ The Underworld (19/05/2017)”
Forever Unclean spoil Ipswich with an energetic show, supported by Resuscitators and Con-Party.
Arriving at The Smokehouse at sunset, I’m stoked to see that there’s already a keen crowd assembled for some noisy Wednesday night fun – obviously, word has gotten around about how fun Danish indie/skate punks Forever Unclean are going to be!
Continue reading “Gig Review: Forever Unclean @ The Smokehouse (10/05/2017)”
The best ways to fill your ears and empty your wallet this month.
One week in and May has already proved itself as a killer month with a new release from Gnarwolves and the news that Lightyear are permanently reforming (yes, I did just wet myself a little).
We’ve also been blessed with a flurry of pre/post-Groezrock shows from international headliners like Deftones, Choking Victim and Thrice, although there were a few notable absences (Red City Radio have some serious explaining to do).
The summer season is just kicking in so there’s plenty to look forward to: pre-drinking in parks rather than over-priced bars, getting blinded by sunlight when emerging for a cigarette between bands, and your sweat-and-beer-soaked shirt not immediately turning to ice on the walk home.
Here are the gigs you don’t want to miss in May:
Continue reading “Gig Guide: Bands You Need to See in May”