Saturday 26th May (Main Stage)
It’s Day Two of the 13th Nice N Sleazy festival and it appears there’s no casualties from the previous day. The Trimpell Sports and Social Club, yet again is the perfect location for the next two days of Punk and Ska music. The entire team has made sure it was a fantastic day yesterday and there’s many people to thank. Big Ivan Harrison, Stu Taylor (STP Records), School of Rock Media (SORM), The Trimpell Camera Club, Security, Catering and the many crew members and volunteers. There’s some fantastic charities benefit from this festival and it’s great to see them being supported by everyone who’s turned out. The Line up is jammed packed, it’s hard to juggle between the three amazing stages but luckily, they’re only yards apart. The sun is out and there’s more than 12 hours to enjoy the music.
Unfortunately, I just caught the last song of these rowdy guys as they opened the second day on the main stage. Although it was only two minutes, I could see by their faces they were living the dream. A great gang of lads with a common passion for music. You could call them the house band as they’re made up of members from “School of Rock Media” a great and worthy cause. Check them out if you can.
“We’re Delinquents from Dundee” screams David Hennesey (Guitar/Bass/Vocals) as this rowdy bunch of misfits take the stage to try to kick the life into the early attendees and maybe smash some hangovers into the bargain. “I Hate Valentines Day” is the opening line of this energetic set and the follow up is “Not Your Problem” which is a frantic 45second song. Both songs are from their debut album “About Last Night”. David screams at the crowd to “wake up” as they launch swiftly in to the teenage angst song “Acne” again from their album launched last autumn. Graeme Jackson (Guitar/Bass/Vocals) and Ryan Hughes (Drums) make up the chaotic threesome and they rip through a new song “Sober On Sunday” before the popular “Never Gonna Fit In” which is probably their most pop punk tune. A mix of punk/thrash/indie/new wave gives the sound it’s own flavour as the band don’t profess to “fit in” to any genre. A “Johnny Marr” style riff starts “Keep on Choking” which is a song dealing with mental health and depression. The tempo is increased with “This Party Sucks”, another new tune which demonstrates they are striving for another album’s worth of material. Jackson’s Bass riff sounds like it has a classical feel to it and he runs up and down the fretboard before David crashes back in with the chorus. The tune’s well received by the early stragglers but the accolades will have to wait as they rip into another album track “Ctrl:Alt:Defeat”. “Three Sheets to the Wind” is a topical song up next as there’s some signs this is how the day will end for many of the crowd tonight!! After the powerful “Warning Sign” The last three songs gather pace until the album ending “Next Generation” has the singer asking the crowd who’ve turned out, to “raise a middle finger and say – F*ck You”. Aimed at the government and establishment of course.
Left For Dead (UK)
Reformed 3 years ago after a long break, Bev (Vocals), Shev (Bass), Billy (Guitar) and Adas (Drums) bring Left for Dead (UK) to the stage. Going by their set list, there’s a fair anti-establishment, anti-war messages for the crowd tonight. The set kicks off with a great number “God Bless America” the drumming is predominant in the song as right from the off they’ve set the bar for some high energy alternative post 82 punk. “New Religion” has a post punk feel similar to “Killing Joke” and nearby neighbours “System of Hate” as they hail from the NE of England. There’s some great lead work on the two openers. The band are tight considering they’ve had a long time off. “Get on your knees and prey” Bev preaches to the crowd. “Combat Zone” is up next the “Running Scared” shows the talents of Shev as his bass dominates as if he were playing bass for “New Model Army”. Bev has some banter with the crowd then another charged song “Halfway to Hell”. “Eaten by Wolves” has a more traditional punk rock feel about it but “No Flags” returns to an alternative sound. The band burst into life for their one only only single released in 1985, “Holy War”, Bev leads the band into battle on this one before they launch into the last song “Psychedelic Warefare”.
Second Dundee band of the day, The Eddies kick off with a new song. “My Game My Rules”, a superb energetic song with a catchy chorus. The busy crowd are in for some great punk rock as it looks like these guys mean business! Lee Guthrie (Vocals) thanks the crowd for coming in from the sunshine as they blast into “No Way”. The pace is kept up by Andy Cochrane (Drums) as he smashes the kit with relish. The driving force of Ian Sherriff (Bass/Vocals) and Ed Middleton (Guitar/Vocal) are supplemented by the running lead of Steve Clark (Guitar/Vocals). Ed kicks off “10%” next as Lee berates the government and the rich and normal service is resumed as The Eddie’s rip through what’s normally their opener. Lee’s on it today and the pretend “PC brigade” get it with the frantic “Don’t Mention the War”. Up next is another new tune called “Nowhere”, again, unheard but sounds fresh and the singalong chorus with backing vocals make it a great addition to their growing set. Now for a couple of Eddie’s favourites in “Punk For Life” and “Freakshow” which see masks being adorned for the latter tune and much to the amusement of the crowd! Andy has a new “Jigsaw” mask and looks the part but no idea how he manages in the sweltering heat! Some great audience participation as they singalong to the chorus and Lee shares the mic at the barrier. Onto the third new tune and great to see the crowd have stayed considering it’s so nice outside. “These Days” is a well crafted song with another punchy hookline. Lee takes the time out to thank the Trimpell Camera Club, whose work goes unseen right before the seminal “Streetlife” which has Ed chunking out some great guitar chops as Lee sing’s “We are the boy’s from The Eddie’s”. We pause for reflection as Lee introduces “Taking the Mick”. It’s an emotional song for the band as it was based on some chords from former member Mick Kilbride who passed away last year. The band play with a passion and spirit that is a fitting tribute. Touted as the last song, “Lost Years” has a great riff which has a very recognisable lick at the intro (paint it black – rolling stones) but bursts into life with more great chops from Ed and Steve. A great gig by The Eddies is rewarded with the enthusiastic crowd shouting for one more song and Lee soon has the crowd mouthing along with “Punk rocks not the same” as they receive a great response to the point where the rousing encore of “Looking In” brings the set to a close. “We were The Eddies, it’s good afternoon and f*ck off to ya” Lee shouts as he leaves the audience cheering.
Fife’s favourites are up next on the main stage. Crimedesk are a three piece from Glenrothes that are celebrating 40 yrs of punk rock next year and still playing very regularly all over Scotland. Dressed in black with matching black Fender guitars with mirror scratch plates, these mean looking guys are actually the nicest guys you could meet. They play no nonsense punk rock. Alan Cormie (Guitar/Vocals) looms larger than life on stage with his deep gravel voice he thrashes his telecaster. The songs have a fiery nature to them and with the solid drumming and punchy bass runs from John (Drums) and Allan Goodsir (Bass/Vocal), they are a good combination. The band kick off with “What you see is what you get”, very apt before they play the title track of the album they released last year “Louder… Faster”, it’s full name of “The Louder You Scream, The Faster You Go”. Another album track “Future Engraved” precedes the “WTF you looking at”, a well know Scottish phrase and delivered with some attitude! “You’ve gone too far” has Alan making light of one of his wife’s favourite sayings. Up next is a cover version of the bands favourite and aptly named “Nice N Sleazy”. A faithful version but obviously without the keyboards, Alan name checks the organisers for having them play. The track “Never Give Up, Never Give In” is a rousing tune and easily one of their most memorable songs from the current album. Harking back to 1979, when the band were formed, they play a single they released back then “Arms Race” before launching into another recent tune, “Freaky Street”, which is about the town they grew up in and give reference to their favourites the “Meninblack”. Before you know it, here’s the end of the set and it’s dedicated to everyone who hates their job, “Let’s Call It a Day” an apt song before the lads leave the stage.
Watching the band set-up, it’s obvious there’s something different tonight about the line up. The towering bass player Dan either has a tech setting up his rig, or he’s been replaced? Having his back to the crowd, there’s no indication who it is. Then much to my surprise, Wayne Cotton (Vice Squad) turns round, face beaming and starts to hammer some bass lines out for sound-check. I find out later, Dan’s got a double booking and Wayne’s been drafted in, and what a performance he’ll put in tonight after having only 2 rehearsals!
“How you doing Sleazy, Alright” shouts Mok (Vocals) and it’s straight into “Pushing” as the punk / metal / hardcore rock 4 piece crash into their set. The manic song “Bulldog” fires straight in relentlessly with a furious lead from Karl . The “Death Row Dogs” has Wayne’s bass thundering edgy intro powers through the PA until Andy (Drums) and Karl have the PA clipping with the brutal “Self Help”. Mok gives Wayne a formal introduction to tonights crowd making some references to his heritage, much to his amusement! “Smash It Up, Smash It Up, Smash It Up” screams Mok and the relentless 4 pieces bring some chaos to the evenings proceedings which is compounded by Karl managing to switch off his guitar transmitter for a few seconds until he recovers before the end of the song. There’s no time for anyone to take a breath before “Don’t Judge Me” as Wayne shows off his bass prowess with a great guttural sound. Andy backs up the power from the two guitar merchants with his tribal drumming before Karl’s slick lead riff’s fight for dominance over Mok’s voice. “Car Song” increase the intensity and it’s transferred into the crowd as the moshing goes up a gear. Wayne has a few practice riffs and launches into “Rat Café” with Andy’s double kick drumming showing who’s the boss! Is there any relenting from this band tonight…no! To lighten the mood a little, Wayne starts clucking like a chicken and has the crowd in stitches before “No Gods” brings down the beat to more of a rock feel. Mok now thanks Wayne for not having a beer before the set as it may have ended in carnage, well, as if on queue, “Punk Rock Ambulance” is on hand to mop up the casualties as the crowd get back into the moshpit mode. A shout out to “Brian at the back” brings on “Civvy Killers” which has Andy killing his kit with the usual suspects on their axes as accomplices. There’s nowhere to hide now as Mok furiously dominates his stage! “For anyone whose flagging at the back” Mok dedicates “747” before the band continue the onslaught. “We Little Pigs” varies in tempo but not delivery. The next track from the No Justice album “One Way” has Mok back at the fore. Waynes shout’s it’s his favourite up next, “The sweary one” and “F*ck you very much” leads on the “This Is Our Party” where there’s no crowd could match the insane speed the band play during the verse before the sinagalong chorus. Time to crash out now as the wall of sound has come tumbling down.
Another Scottish band on the bill and they celebrate 40+yrs of punk. The well know band from Glasgow bring back the diversity of this festival. Billy club may have finished with “This is our party” but Fire Exit are in a mood to have their own party. Gerry Attrick (Vocals) brings his merry band to Nice N sleazy and thanks the organisers for the invite and hopes to make future appearances but for now the infectious punk tunes of Fire Exit are played with plenty energy. The band tear into “Let the show begin”, “Thing’s people do” and “Going Crazy”before Gerry introduces “Trust In Me” influenced by the snake in Jungle Book which has the fabulous mouth organ running through it, before the roaring “We’re gonna drink” with the singalong “Na,Na,Na,Na” chorus supplemented by the active crowd joining in. Gerry introduces the band, Jess E Ska (Bass) Arab (Drums), the real Paul Thomson (Guitar) and Lil Charlie (Mouth Organ). A rapturous version of “Changes” keeps the crowd bouncing before a sermon from Gerry where he denounces religion and world leaders as being the biggest causes of war with “Burn the Churches”. A tune from ’76 is the penultimate tune, “Death Boredom” a pub punk rock feel to it is followed by “Time Wall” a cracking final tune which see’s the moothie and the guitar do battle for supremacy. Gerry give’s thanks to all and retires to the merch stall where he’ll continue his banter with one and all.
Spunk Volcano and the Eruptions
Yet more diversity at Nice N Sleazy as Spunk Volcano and the Eruptions fill the stage. The crowd start to fill the room as “Spunk”, resplendent in his blue T shirt, leather jacket, Batman logo pants and of course, the legendary balaclava engages immediately with the crowd telling them that “we’re all mates” and off we go as “Shit Generation” kicks off the madness. Without more of a do, “Sellotape” is played but the set goes no further until “Spunk” admits defeat and joins in with the crowd to a version of the kids cartoon them tune Rhubarb and Custard. Right, back to the organised nonsense and Spunk shout’s “Oi mate, do us a favour” and “Hanging round the shop’s” has the crowd in full voice. So, if you can’t get what you want from the shops, Spunk suggests we “Ram Raid” and boom, frenzy, The Eruptions hammer out the tune. “Who remembers the board game crossfire, all ball bearings, what a winner” Spunk shouts out just before “Crossfire” has the band flat out. It’s sing song time as “Can’t stop thinking bout you” brings out the vocal talents of the crowd as they do their best to mimic the “whoa oh oh oh” of the daunting front man! “Who remembers being a teenager?” Spunk asks the audience as he remembers hating his parents as he was smarter than them. “Teenage Teenagers” kicks off with “Do what a wanna, do what a wanna do” and it’s free licence for the crowd to turn back the clock and act like kids again. Spunk wants to sing about a car, Chitty chitty bang bang perhaps? Nah, “XR3”. Car crash songs for this receptive audience has them wanting to “Gatecrash” along with Spunk. “Judas fucking priest” Spunk shouts as the twin guitars start the song before drums and bass join the party. It’s in full swing now. Are there any “Knobheads” at this party?Anyone listening to “Rio” as Spunk goads the audience into singing the Duran Duran hit. So the thrash number has the crowd in full mosh mode and screaming “He’s a knobhead”. The moshing pigeon masked punk rocker comes flying over the barrier a few times much to the amusement of all in range. All good thing’s must come to an end, so the stripped down song “Purely Medicial” has the tempo slowed for “Spunk” to tell the audience what he wants to do, “I wanna drink” for purely medicinal purposes. Boom, the last song of the night and they save the best til last as “You’re the Bastard” gets the manic moshers moving and the barrier bombers do their best to crash the stage. Sometimes you get what you deserve and we did tonight.
Millie Manders and the Shutup
The much anticipate appearance of this band is obvious as the room is packed. Millie introduces herself and the band and they start with “Little Big Mouth” which shows Millie’s vocal dexterity immediately. Bouncy and lively, she bounces endlessly though out the song and the whole set! She asks the audience to “Have another Drink” throughout the next tune “Bacchus”. Millie is infectious, she’s got the audience in the palm of her hand now and wants them to step out from their boring 9-5 lives and be “Brave”. An edgy, syncopated number with some incredible lead guitar work. Hints of PiL and Magazine era of John McGeoch but in a soul/ska style. The song breaks out to some great Brass work. Millie raises a finger to the media/magazine’s as the band belt out “Obsession Transgression”. The next song is dedicated to anyone who is/was/might become a psychotic ex! “Teddy” has Millie rapping/screaming like crazy as she show’s us what crazy looks like… if we didn’t already know! Inspired by the Syrian bombings, the next song describes the tragic waste and destruction caused. Millie asks for everyone to recognize the “specialized project” and she introduces the “The Jam” song “Pretty Green” which was recorded for a benefit CD to be sold to raise funds. The song changes tack from had hitting punk to some mellow/frantic ska. A short pause as the band downtune to “D” and the next song is on the kickstarter E.P. they will record. The lead track on the single, it kicks off with some military drumming and chunky metal chords, “One That Got Away” morphs into an up tempo beat driven singalong. Another song to be recorded for the E.P.is “Right To Life” and it’s about respecting all life and the message is “We’re destroying our home”. Millie belts out the lyrics as a ballad before full on skank mode from the band. Just before the band play on, Millie thanks her band and sleazy before she strums and sings “Hole In Your Chest” with a rapturous applause at the end from the packed crowd. Definitely one to watch, these guys just smashed it.
What superlatives are there left to say about TV Smith, if being a frontman to one of the seminal bands of ’77 wasn’t enough, he’s spent the last few decades penning some of the most educational and illuminating songs for not only his generation, but for the one’s that have followed. Humble and modest, the diversity of Nice N Sleazy brings some reflection to what has been an incredible day so far. There’s a great mix of old and new tonight in Tim’s set “Only One Flavour” “No Time To Be 21” “No Control” “We Stand Alone” “Bombsite Boy”
“Replay” “Coming In To Land” “I Delete” “Lion And The Lamb” “Expensive Being Poor” “Immortal Rich” “Generation Y” “Great British Mistake” “Gary Gilmore’s Eyes” “Bored Teenagers” “One Chord Wonders”.
Punk stalwarts The Drones are up next, “Anyone in here hot, well it’s just gonna get hotter!!!” screams Whispa (Bass/Vocals) and the band fire into “Lookalikes” and take us right back to ’77. It’s like time’s stood still as the sound and attitude have not changed. “I don’t wanna be you, you don’t wanna be me” shouts Whispa though the song. “Hard On Me” another early tune up next and has Whispa demanding the crowd to “make some noise”. As Al Crosby (Guitar) starts the next song “City Drones” Whispa has some fun with a bottle of water in true punk fashion as he tosses it into the crowd . Whispa’s voice has some real venom in it as he snarl’s through the song. A new tune “Human Race” has a slightly different feel to the opening numbers but still has the crowd moshing. “Look at what you’ve done” is the message from Whispa and it’s gone down well. “Are we having fun”, more fun the than the unfortunate Joergen Klopp is having! (Reference to the Champions league which has just finished). A re-work of the John Peel session track “The Clique” is up next. The rock n roll number “Rats” has the crowd bouncing and Al breaks into some great lead riff’s. When Whispa was asked to join The Drones way back, he did so because of the next song, “Movement”. “Is this a new Movement?” Whispa getting his message over as again, Al Crosby shows his great lead work. All through the set the drums of Brian Grantham (Ex-Slaughter and the Dogs) is the backbone of the band. As well as playing last night with Slaughter II, he’s banging out the tunes. “Sad So Sad” up next and it’s a great singalong number. “No More Time” and a manic version “Friction” leads onto one of the old fav’s “Bone Idol”. Now we’re into the last two numbers and the rousing “Persecution Complex” leads straight into an amazing cover of “The Damned’s” “New Rose”. After a noisy crowd demand an encore, a cracking and chaotic version of “Be My Baby” finishes a wild performance.
Mad Jack and the Hatters
How do you top an incredible day of acoustic, tradition/chaotic punk and hardcore rock, with some incredible ska, put on something more diverse. The final band of the night I managed to catch was a rock ‘n’ roll/rockabilly three piece with the biggest ‘WHITE” double bass I’ve ever seen, played by the diminutive figure of Rebecca Jane. The line up of course has ‘Mad Jack’ Collins (Guitar and Vocals) and Paul ‘Chillo’Childs (Drums). The set comprised of some great tunes from their three albums mixed in with some ol classic rock n roll/rockabilly numbers with a few surprises in there as well!
Nice ‘n’ Sleazy – “Other Stages”
As if one stage wasn’t brilliant enough, outside the Trimpell Sports Club, there were two other stages. The large marquee (Old Republique Stage) and the open sided event truck (Benchmarx Elements Stage). In between the acts inside, it was great to catch the other bands. To be fair, there were many people stayed outside to watch and only popped inside now n then and why not. The bands onshow were fantastic. I was lucky enough to catch “Sleepy Jake and the Duvets”, “Misc En Scene”, “Tripwire DC” “PMT” and “AOA”. These bands put on a fantastic show. The crowd lapped up the sunshine outside and the atmosphere was great.
Sleepy Jake and The Duvets
Misc En Scene
A O A