Snakes with……


Maybe getting too old for this.

It might be the Saltaire Blonde last night or the beers in the Port Street Beer House today. Or it may be the all-encompassing sun which is amplified in the pressure cooker of the tram to and from Manchester. Reading Alan Moore’s “Voice of the Fire” (a gift from t’other Bob)  on the way back I slip between waking dream states infected by the bard of Northampton’s potent imagery of various (historical) times and ponder on last nights events.

Anyway I need to write it down before I forget….

Ten slivers of a fractured culture…..The Peer Hat, Manchester – 23rd June 2018.

ONE: Monkeys In Love play their second gig this year, this time with new bass player Alex, the usual faves are there from the last album, which they haven’t got for sale, plus some new ones. They seem slightly “heavier” than previous, it may the sound in the Peer Hat, notwithstanding that observation, the dual vocal attack of Steve and Laura is in fine fettle. A new one about selfies sees Laura prowling the audience taking snaps with willing participants. The drum machine is playing up. They need to play more gigs, we need them, subject to child care permitting of course.

TWO : Flea are brutal, honest, and refreshing.   Primal rock music. Boz and Rat sound as good as they did when they were supporting The Cravats at the Star & Garter last year (if not better if I am truthful). The second band with a drum machine which malfunctions in the same way that the Monkeys one did. There must be something in the atmosphere. Looking forward to hearing the recordings.

THREE: Diagonal Science are missing a bass player but they remain inventive and intense, tambourine in full effect. The joy on their faces as they perform is infectious. People are piling into the venue so door duties distract from the music to some extent.

Time for a sandwich.

FOUR : O’Shea and Davies deliver 16 minutes of acid house with captured sounds about man-splaining and the stupidity of a male dominated profession from the female recipients perspective. Powerful and thought-provoking.  A premiere. Lots of dancing going on at the front. More of this type of thing is needed I think.

FIVE : Four Candles deliver their usual powerful manifesto with gusto and a healthy smattering of anglo-saxon language. David Wilkinson adds sonorous sax  Mr Moss pulls no punches attacking the establishment and former band members. The new album is launched. New song BBC is teetering close to Death Metal in places …. More gigs please.

SIX : Drink and Drive. Impressive as usual. Ben howls at the moon, the band power relentlessly through snippets from the album and EP and play a new one which sounds very promising. No Town Centre Drinker sadly but Itch-Scratch Cycle and Pale Brigade are faultless. It ends as it usually does with Greg’s Fault. Reptiles with mammalian protuberances……exit Toft stage front……

SEVEN: The Empty Page impact strongly on the senses. Off colour remarks about Salford are historically inaccurate, such is the folly of youth. The Teenage Propshaft makes an appearance. Mark is bending my ear about Download and  Kyuss so I miss bits of the set. Melania’s fashion choices are dissected. I need to go back to the album and listen again.

EIGHT: Bobbie Peru, New drummer. A blast from the past  “1971……today the earth stood still” glorious stuff… Ding is masterful on bass. Contagious remains one my favourites from the trio. Powerful music.

NINE: Sandells. A high point of the day for me. They are utterly unique  Singing along to Cowboys/Brollies. They play a tight set. Johann’s guitar playing is consistently excellent. A suitable end to a great day. A new album coming says Tim. Good.

TEN: In between DJ Doyle delivers a mixed bag sounds which vary between Tiny Tim and Miles Davis with a history of the best in music in between. Listen here and here. People dance to Althea and Donna. Eclectic but perfect.

All good but perhaps too much in one day. Maybe less bands next time and a later start.

“These are the times we dread and hunger for. The mutter of our furnace past grows louder at out backs, with cadence more distinct. Almost intelligible now, its syllables reveal themselves. Our world ignites. The song wells up, from a consuming light”. (Alan Moore)


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