It’s August in Edinburgh, which means the Festival is in town. Where the weird and wonderful come to entertain and break the norm. Well, the weird and the wonderful will be in The Liquid Rooms tonight but this is the norm for a punk rock all-dayer. Dirtbox Disco has come across the border with a few of their friends in tow to join some of Scotlands best Punk bands to entertain. It’s a gig that was sold out some time ago but had a change of venue due to the original one closing so we have the benefit of even more crowd having the opportunity to see the talent on show. JGG Promotions have pulled together a cracking line up, so let’s get the party started.
The eclectic band of hobos bring an entertaining start to the day, unfortunately for me, I was en-route and just missed them but going by past appearances, I know they’ll have livened up proceedings from the start with their upbeat interpretations of some country classics. The guys got a few shout-outs from the crowd and fellow band buddies so they made an impression!
The Sunday Punk Club
SPC take the stage and kick off with “Trust Me” before they get right “Down” to business with Peter (Vocals) singing “Down, Down, Down”. The band are as tight and energetic as they’ve ever been. Regular gigging and rising to the occasion here at The Liquids Rooms. Another stormer as “My Reality” shows the band at its most forthright. The guitar-driven “Screaming Inside” with its running lick leads onto “Freak”. There’s a humungous scream at the start before the rest of the band come crashing in. “Nothing Left to Lose” keeps up the energy, with some great guitar work again with some creative lead solo’s before it comes to a cracking end. There’s a great drum roll start to “Demons Within” before two full-on numbers to end this charged performance. “Totalitarian” followed by “Victimised” show the band have had a really strong set tonight.
The power punk trio from Bathgate fire straight into the opening four tracks from their latest album “60 Miles of Bad Road”. “Blood and Whisky” sounding very much like Billyclub and matching their delivery, Buzzbomb’s set gets off to a great start. “Graveland”, “Bare Knuckle” and “Turnstile” follow on in surefire manner as the melting pot of the self proclaimed influences of The Cramps and the Misfits meets the continuous onslaught of The Ramones as they play their songs back to back. Their set is relentless as “Misfits”, “Sustainable” and another three tracks from their new album, “Drift”, ”Wreckage”,and “Russian Roulette” are all played out back to back with an increasing intensity. There’s nowhere to hide from Buzzbomb. The set comes to an end with “Product of the Streets” as they bring their set to a triumphant close. A real hard-hitting set from Buzzbomb that will be hard to top.
Scottish punk stalwarts Shatterhand, having formed 20years ago, are well known to the crowd having constantly gigged throughout Europe for a number of years. Their fast action packed melodic punk is well received as they kick off with “The System is Broken”. Drawing upon their previous 6 albums, Social and political commentary run throughout the songs seamlessly as they have a message to deliver. “Regret Nothing, regret nothing just Breathe” the opening line to “Breathe” keeps their set moving at a good pace and visually you see the energy from the band from all four corners. The next song “Drowning in Sand” shows their dynamics as it breaks down from a full-on punk song to the break where a reggae influence can be heard. Up next, “Turning Insane”. Stu gives a shout out to Los Fastidios just before they fire into “Second Guessing”. The next song is a message of hope for those suffering dark times, “Paradigm Shift” demonstrates the band’s lyrical dexterity. A cover version of The Replacements “Bastards of the Young” is up next with a much harder-edged version than the original. “Planting Seeds” ups the tempo before a cracking version of “Blood Red September” as Stu shouts, “We are the World” which is a great showcase of the band’s talents. “Punk rock at the heart, punk rock at the soul, punk rock till we die…. We’ve been Shatterhand and we leave you with a drinking song, Deadlights”, again, this is the band at their brilliant best showing their true heart. The band go from strength to strength and tonight, we really have seen them at their best.
If you didn’t already know you were in Scotland, well here come The Cundeez. There’s no doubting where they’re from with the kilts and bagpipes. They’re far from a parody, the wit and gyle of the lyrics bring any misconception to an abrupt halt. The skirl ‘o’ the bagpipes can be heard as the band start with an instrumental, “This is Britain”, before launching into “Austerity”. Dundee’s punk poet Gary Robertson shouts out “Mr Ego” and they fire into one of their punkier numbers. The pipes make another brief re-appearance as an intro to the self-explanatory ska-influenced “Mr Politician”. Growing up in Dundee is the flavour for the next number, “Summer ‘o’ ’78”, another hard-edged punk tune. There’s no allowance for anyone not familiar with scot’s speak and The Cundeez give a shout out to their Edinburgh punk pals as they kick off with “Ehm Feelin Teckle”. Next up, a short number “Made in Dundee” another upbeat ska-tune which gets the crowd going. Ska / Punk, now in full effect, with the signature tune from the Dundee boys as “Roota” is their final number before they play out to a bagpiped version of the Madness song “Ane (One) Step Beyond”. Big Jock and Wee Jock make an appearance dancing about on the stage as the wrecking crew fae Dundee end on a high.
Considering Vomit were established in ’77, it is almost incredible that this is their first appearance in Scotland. They get right into it with “Middle America”. Even though it’s their first foray this far north, the band are known to the well-travelled audience. Lee (Vocals) introduces the next song for all the women with vibrators in their bottom drawers, “Dirty Toys”. The dual guitars work to great effect with reminiscent solos to the heydays of the late 70’s. Big cheers to the audience for the first few songs and into “21st Century News”. Next song up is “Breakaway”, imagine winning the lottery and getting away from it all. There’s a ska number next as “Doesn’t Matter How Old”, keeps the crowd going as the band’s energy is replicated in the crowd. A new tune up next off their recent album, the song “New World Disorder”, has a great singalong feel to it. “Kill City” leads onto a song for old soldiers which starts with a great guitar lick, “Bound for Glory” is the band at its tuneful best. A great wee tongue in cheek song next for all those dog walkers “Dogshit”, lasts all of a minute!! ‘The 12” version’ Lee says. Having enjoyed their time in Scotland the band leave with a simple message, that when drunk, it’s perhaps best to shut, shut, shut “Shut Your Mouth”. Let’s hope Vomit make more journeys north as this was a cracking performance.
There’s a new look to Fire Exit tonight as there’s no ‘Lil Charlie on mouth-organ and Richie Simpson (Ex-Heavy Drapes) is now on guitar, having had two gigs prior to this one, he’s more than up for it. The shenanigans kick off with “Let The Show Begin” which has Gerry Attrick at his rousing best. With his trusty wine goblet in hand, he welcomes everyone in usual fashion. Jess E Ska (Bass) keeps the evening going by firing straight into the next song “Things People Do”, great guitar work by Richie with some strong solo work. More chaos as “Going Crazy” has Gerry baiting the crowd with the infectious singalong. Some great banter and the audience singalong willingly. A verbal break as Gerry thanks the crowd and gives a wee rundown of the band and some history as they’ve been on the go for 41yrs. Dishing out some of his wine to a few willing drinkers at the front, Gerry introduces the next song from his favourite Jungle book character “Trust in Me”. Becoming more animated as the night goes on, the next song is dedicated to those from Newcastle, “Toon Life” keeps the set going and the crowd moving. “Changing” another upbeat song which gives Richie another opportunity to show off his talents. Gerry gives a shout out to his mates in Argentina who’ve been on the go for 20yrs then the next number “Death Boredom” ups the tempo. The band finish with two numbers, “Time Wall” with some great bass runs from Jess. Then the epic Fire Exit song “We’re gonna drink”, Gerry is in his element and gets the crowd bouncing until it’s time for Gerry and Co. to drink the night away.
Still raw from the recent unexpected death of founder guitarist Keith Barnard, Snide Remarks made the short trip north to play their first gig since his passing. With former band member, Steve Hoggart filling in on guitar instead of his previous slot on bass, new drummer Tommy Heaney is also joined by Martin Wav Thirwell on bass. So it’s a brand new line up for a one-off tonight until they find a permanent guitarist, but Baz Walker will keep the band on track. Arriving just in time to get on stage, the band kick off with “Simon Says”, “Rags to Riches” and “Don’t Come Back”. The band were apprehensive about this first gig, and rightly so, but you wouldn’t know by the way they keep firing with real anger and attitude as Barry snarls through “Social Animal” and “God has got your number”. The “Punk Rock Mafia” get a shout out before “Golgothia”. There’s a brotherly feel from the band as they sing “Punks Unite” and Barry excels during “We’ve Got……” as he rips through the clever lyrics, worth dissemination if you get the chance to hear them on CD. The penultimate song “Apologies” is followed with a hearty thanks from Steve and you know he means it from his delivery! “I Love the Weekend” is a fitting ending to the bands set as you can feel the early tension they had is long forgotten. No doubt Keith will live on through Snide Remarks and he’s left in good hands. RIP Keith Barnard.
Knock Off are one of the busiest bands in the country, playing at almost every festival going and are a welcome addition to the bill. With their non-stop melodic singalong punk rock, the audience is in for a treat. The first two songs “The Hunted” and “Dirty Little Secret”, played back to back, get the evening off to a great start. Andy Town berates the number of stairs of the Edinburgh streets and then gives the Heart of Midlothian football fans a shout out, before kicking off at anyone looking to be offended on the internet, with “Are You Offended”. It is a great singalong number which has endeared the band to the audience. Next, for anyone who’s ever lost anyone, “Ain’t No Love Song” is a message for us that there’s only one life, so live it! The boys are in full flow as “You Sold Our Glory” which demonstrates how our government has sold off our country’s assets. “Warriors” is dedicated to Mr. Spunk Volcano, who as it happens had just entered the building! “Riot”, on a newly released E.P. sees the exuberant audience show their appreciation. Andy T asks the crowd to remember those who’ve died during the war as the band pay tribute to the fallen in “1918” The poignant guitar solos match the empathic message sung about the fallen soldiers. Moving on, to lighten the proceedings, Andy T asks the audience if anyone’s partial to Football… or likes a Beer and so, to avert a riot, the band crash into the signature Knock Off tune “Football, Beer and Punk Rock” (cheers for the T-Shirt guys!!!) and the crowd are now at frenzy level as it’s kicking off in the mosh-pit! Straight up next, “Fingers To The Bone” a song for the working people, much identified by those in the crowd. There’s a shout out for the gig’s promoter, Gibby for putting on the gig and a message to those trying to shut down the venues, “This is Who We Are” another great singalong and message that the music will never die! So, for 1 min and 27 secs, the crowd had the chance to “Lose their Shit” as “Jack The Ripper” brings the set to a close. Here’s to a cracking year for Knock Off and they are coming to you somewhere soon!
Taking the stage to the T.V Theme tune from “Supergran”, Maff Fazzo gets behind his kit, Deadbeat Chris picks up his trusty bass, Spunk Volcano wields his axe then Danny Fingerz thrashes out the chords to “Otherside of the Street” as the crowd start singing “Hurray, hurray it’s Dirtbox day” then as Weab makes an appearance, the band launch into the song to kick off the evenings hilarity. Weab introduces “Burning” and the crowd singalong at the chorus as if they were all one huge backing band. A “wee” warning from Weab to watch out and not crowd surf as there’s no security to catch them or they might just bang their “Heids” as Weab shows he’s learned the lingo! Next up is “Tragic Roundabout” followed quickly by “Peepshow” as Weab advises the crowd to surf their way to the bar and not the stage! “Woah Oh Oh come on now” as the crowd go mental! A new track “Joyce’s Voices” off their latest album “Immortals” is next. Weab says it’s “Dedicated to the over 60’s bonkers people who don’t know when to die”. Spunk Volcano asks the crowd to show their appreciation for all the previous bands as Weab reminds the crowd that the band’s not big enough for a “Guest List”. The band thrash the song out before Spunk points out his “Blow Job” writing comes off his guitar and much to the hilarity of the crowd, Weab asks what the local word for a “BJ” is… eventually “Gammy” is shouted out so he can hear it, much to his amusement! Crowd favourite “Standing in a Queue” gets the crowd bouncing and singing along again. Weab’s loving the banter with the crowd and the topical “Art of Conversation” is up next with more crowd participation. At this point, Weab says he normally splits the crowd into two halves but reckons the crowd would get lost! “Slapdash” keeps the crowd on their toes and invariably heading for the barrier! It’s only going to get worse as the song the crowd’s been waiting for kicks off with Spunk Volcano strumming the opening chords to “My Life is Shit” and boom! The crowd come storming in physically and audibly with a rousing “MY LIFE IS SHIT! The security that is there is kept busy as a few stragglers make it over the barrier. Not as much as the 200 that flew over it at Blackpool’s Rebellion Festival, but still, more than the security had hoped for tonight! Another new track from “Immortals” – “Teenage Lovestruck Blues” goes down well before another crowd favourite “Just Wanna Be a Girl”. Spunk asks the crowd if there are any weirdo’s in the audience with both genitalia. “Nah, nanananah nanananah na na” and the crowd go mental. The third track from “Immortals” is up next “Mirror Mirror” it’s one for a “smooch with your partner” as Weab puts it. After the respite of the last song, it’s time to go mad again with “Imaginary Girlfriend”, Weab asks the audience to “try not to break each other” and before too long another favourite is up next as “Girlfriends Bestfriends Sister” has the crowd singing at the top of their voices. Ironically, the next tune-up is “Stop Shouting”. For the crowd that’s not seen Dirtbox before, this song is for them “What you Gonna Do”. “We’re Dirtbox, we’re bastards and we love it” is the singalong for all the crowd to join in with. Dirtbox have the knack of having you singing along even if you’ve never heard the song before. The crowd are in their element. Weab announces the last song as the boo’s ring out from the crowd and Spunk Volcano gets the song off with the signature chords before Weab sings “Nothing left to say…..” and “I Don’t Wanna Go Out With You” gets into full swing. After a huge “See ya” Weab just says “Fuck It” and the band cram in “Let’s Get Fuckin Wasted/Dirtbox Day” and the crowd finish off the evening in full voice with Spunk Volcano and Lee from Vomit (who’s joined them on stage) as Weab takes his leave from the stage. The band continue to play out as the crowd keep on singing….. what an epic gig, with a year in the making and a change of venue but well worth the wait!
Well done to all involved as this was one incredible gig, showing off talent from North and South of the border with no divide. ONE BIG HAPPY PUNK ROCK FAMILY. Well done to Gibby from JGG Promotions and to the crew of The Liquid Rooms, what a slick operation they ran and finally, the crowd excelled them selves, Hurray Hurray!