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Punktoberfest 8 – Punks Rock Dundee (Day 1)

Punktoberfest 8 – Friday 19th October

It’s a credit to Andy Cochrane and the punk community that has continued to support this great gig held at Beat Generator for the eighth year. Virtually planned and run almost as a one man band, the festival has gone from strength to strength. Of course, there are others involved and the venue owner John Cruickshanks has been a big part of it, along with his willing team of staff and engineers. There’s also been a healthy sponsorship from local businesses and this year saw Rainbow Music, Tayport Tattoo Collective and Good Times Music Studio, although sadly, the week leading up to the event, Good Times have decided to close their studio. A loss for sure but here’s to all the musicians who have had the support and access to this once great studio.

So, onto the music. Headliners for Friday, Drongos for Europe and Slaughter II for Saturday. There’s a wealth of talent on the two stages who’ve travelled from far a field including England, Germany, Italy and USA.

The Signal – kick things off and what a start. The energy from Nikki Signal is there for all to see. She thrashes her braided hair to the songs and their Anarcho Punk mixed with a flavour of metal. The anti-establishment highly political lyrics are direct and to the point, there’s no mistaking the message from the band with song titles Wanker/Banker, Suck IT, Get Tae Fuck, Man UP!. The band end with two incredible numbers, Black Sheep from their Suck IT E.P. which is a must to listen and a new song Never Trust a Tory. A real ear worm of a song which is singing in my head as I write this! 

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Buzzbomb  – take the stage and blast relentlessly into their well proven set. They’ve been gigging their album 60 Miles of Bad Road this year up and down the country and earned some well deserved resepect. The power trio bring their blend of punk/psychobilly rock to Dundee and in their usual frantic style, hammer through their set almost non-stop. It’s like watching The Ramones on fast forward but with more vigour and aggression. Kicking off with Sustainable Damage an early song followed by Blood and Whisky from the latest album, they’re on fire tonight as they end with one of my personal favourites, Product of the Streets. It’s been a blistering start to this 2 day festival.

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Garden Gang  – with the help of some willing promoters including Andy, have put together a North East mini-tour to slot in at this years Punktoberfest 8. They played Glasgow the previous evening and off to NE England tomorrow to continue their brief tour. Having been around for over 25yrs, Garden Gang have a wealth of material to draw from but they kick tonight off with Middle Class Symphony from the self titled album of 2016. The band play a few tracks from their latest album. Make a Move or Die, Bad Men Rising, Online and the wonderful Likes of Us which starts so eloquently with PamP’s spoken word intro before the band kick into life. The band end with the fitting No Better Place and look like they are exactly where they want to be, in front of this willing and eager crowd. What a stunning performance from this wonderful mis-mash of punk, rock’n’roll, glam, indie and post-punk. 

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Four Past Midnight – next up, here’s comes the self styled Prince of Punk- Peter McCartney and his merry band. True to form Peter (who’s been tucked away in the dressing room) bursts onto the stage immaculately turned out in his light blue suit with silver sparkle scarfs hanging from him. The band are also turned out in their signature red and black shirts. 4PM setlist has a greatest hits feel to it as they run through Punk for Life, Any Other Way, Hope,Fear….. all of which are delivered with some relish. A short delay to them starting tonight and some extended tuning through the set means it was cut short but the band end with Alone one of the highlights of their 2017 album Battle Scars and Broken Hearts. 

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Delinquents – having looked forward to this “home” gig for sometime, Delinquents are well up for this. There’s a real urgency about them tonight, ripping through Valentines Day as they start their energetic set. Never Gonna Fit In goes down well, being one of their signature tunes and taking advantage, Dave Hennessy encourages a circle pit as a manic version of Not Your Problem has the crowd doing their best to keep up with band even if it was only for 45 seconds! Keeping up the frantic pace, This Party Sucks leads onto the tuneful Keep On Choking.Not much respite for band or audience before a rousing version of Ctrl:Alt:Defeat is dedicated to organiser Andy Cochrane. New tunes Warning Sign and Sober on Sunday are played next and will feature on their next E.P. currently being recorded. Crowd favourite Next Generation ends the set tonight as the manic moshers get to singalong and “raise a middle finger and say Fuck You”! 

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Threats – there’s a new look to the band tonight as they have been bolstered with Kev Gillespie (Vocals) and Chris Fraser (Bass) from Panic Attak. Wasted blasts out the P.A. and already Kev’s slotted right in. Bitch up next leads onto the first song ever written by Threats back in the day Pacivity with more early material in Can’t Stop Me and a manic version of Go to Hell is followed by 1980’s. The punk stalwarts are keeping the energy going with Politicians and Ministers. Kev’s Oi/Street Punk vocal delivery has real anger and venom in it. After a cracking rendition of No Rules the band end with a song written yesterday called Underground Army. Looks like there’s more to come from Threats in the very near future.

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Drongos for Europe

Tommy Drongo takes the Dundee stage with a huge roar of PUNKTOBERFEST!!!!! May Day gets the headliners off to a cracking start. “May Day, May Day…. There’s gonna be a riot” is a belter to get the punk mob crushing the barrier from the off. Who’s Army and Stand Up follow on back to back as the first three numbers are played out non stop. The heavy drumming on the toms signify Peace up next before Tommy takes a minute to thank Andy for the invite to play alongside friends and all the bands on the bill. Conditional Terminal gets the boys back on track before the next three songs are played. City Without a Soul, Black Cross and Freakazoid. The audience show their appreciation as the moshing continues throughout the set. “There ain’t no way we’re backing down” has the crowd singing along as Tommy shares the mic with the barrier. Revolution Times and Hope and Glory bring the evening to a close. There are loud cheers as the band take their leave from the stage. Taking time to thank everyone who’s turned out, the boys then mingle for the remainder of the evening in true down to earth punk rock style.

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