Here's something I wrote for the legendary REAL OVERDOSE zine years ago, I'll readily admit the writing isn't great, but hopefully I've improved a bit in recent years!
Ipswich SteamBoat Tavern
24th August 2001 Okay so this night was always going to be an education for two major reasons. 1.I hate covers bands. 2. I have never heard a single Iron Maiden song! When I first turned up at the mighty StamBoat it looked like Ironically 'Brian' Maiden had enough gear to cause involuntary bowel movements through sheer volume (often a good thing!) Their mixing desk was bigger than my living room. Just before the band started I checked into the latrines to tinkle the ivories and was faced by the sight of four or five hairy men squeezing themselves into lycra leggings. "Fookin spandex," they could be heard saying in broad northern accents. Then they started, the lepricorn like singer bouncing round the stage in his studded cod-piece, and four other geezers including a mini drummer pulling 'I've got piles that are irritating my herpes' type faces. For the next few hours they did many songs, mostly about slaughtering daughters and running up hills or something. A lot of closet rockers turned out tonight, and the singer was forcing most of them to put one foot up on the monitors and play air guitars. If their guitarist can masturbate his organ as fast as he can his guitar it is no wonder he is built like a brick shit house! Anyway, a lot of people appeared to have a great time. Myself, I failed to see the irony.
Odd Man Out
2nd February 2002
Ippo (and over to you Andrew,,,,)
Thank you Tard, you join me here the morning after remembering the night before when I was sat on a bar stool having dental surgery without anaesthetic and the queen mother was biting both my balls real hard and drawing blood. No matter how much I screamed or tried to break her away using her own gin bottle for leverage. Or is that just what I would have preferred to happen? When the band came on it became apparent that they were gonna be a rock covers band, how could I tell? There where at least three dead giveaways;
1 - Very Old man on Guitar, his guitar is an ultra heavy metal spiky job but he looks like a retiring bin man.
2 - a bassist who didn't just eat all the pies, he went out looting the pie shops for more.
3 - A singing bassist with a music stand in front of him and a very expensive five string bass. Somebody should tell him that the lower string is below the human range of hearing, or for that matter human caring, ho-hum.
We sat and watched as they murdered loads of songs that people loved. I could only tell this because of all the faces round the bar dropping. At the time I was going back over my life trying to think of something really bad that I had done, that I was now being punished for. Had I tripped over old ladies? Had I stolen a church collection box? No, none of the above so I can't be in hell, but it dam feels like it.
Within about ten minutes we had stopped watching the band altogether and turned to the in pub cctv to watch what later turned out to be the bassist's sons playing pool. The reason I found this out was that we invented a new game where you had to go find something to say to the kids in the pool room to get yourself on cctv! Really sad game I know, but with this band playing it was like back in the days before cable TV, you just had to make your own entertainment! We finished the night by having an after show party at my house without the band or anyone remotely connected to them. Spent a couple of hours saying rude things about the people on TV until one of the party started blowing chunks, then everyone started to stumble home. Who says rock and roll is dead huh! Well maybe after tonight it is just dead from the neck up.
Music in the Park
8th July 2001 Okay so not your usual gig, once a year the local council set up about 6 massive stages in the park in Ipswich, and it's for free! Didn't manage to shift my lazy arse down to there till about 5.30, was gonna go watch JUNGLE TRAIN, but they were on at lunchtime when I was in bed with a hangover (dam that homemade wine). JUNK CULTURE did apply to play but to the wrong stage! We applied to the local tin pot radio station SGR (stands for Simply Grating Radio), but they are operating an anti-rock policy so told us to go get fudged! The first act I was dragged taken to was SUFFOLK SCHOOL OF MAMBA, bit weird, kinda like being beaten rhythmically about the head relentlessly by dustbin lids. But man cannot live on punky bread alone. Left abruptly when we realised that LOVE JUNK were on at another stage. Stumbled down a muddy bank to see LOVE JUNK thrashing it out on what looked like a butchers lorry with the sides removed! An astonishing amount or skater kids were going generally nuts down the front, along with some old bloke playing air guitar in front of Wolfie! Love Junk were up to their usual standard; fun energetic punk, Scruff confusing the crowd with banter between songs, Mickey and Wolfie tuning up between every song and the new drummer just making friends with the crowd. As usual they rocked, and it looked like a LOT of people enjoyed them, and quite rightly so. Made it home shortly after, pausing only to stare sympathetically at the poor sod who was in a portaloo when some yoofs shoved it over!
Extreme Noise Terror, Failed Humanity, Vessel.
The Square, Harlow
15th July 2001 Not usually a hardcore metal fan, and have to admit really that we went to try and get on film, as it was FAILED HUMANITY's video shoot. ENT were a no show (although ENT front man Dean could been seen rocking manically with a bottle of cider in front of the stage), and we got there too late to see VESSEL, which was a shame cos apparently their drummer passed out halfway through the set! Not that we delight in others misfortune, but it would have been worth seeing that SPINAL TAP type moment! FAILED HUMANITY ambled on stage and within seconds we all felt like that chap in the armchair from the old TDK ad! The band play at about 300bpm, and saying they are brutal doesn't do them justice. It was quite amazing to hear something so violent and see what looked like a bunch of friendly blokes on stage. As this was our first 'proper' metal gig a few things made us giggle, like when the crowd was clapping after each aural assault, and letting out a sub-wookie type growl, well it was new to us. By the end of the set I felt like I had been beaten up, and my mind was lying in the gutter bleeding to death, which to FAILED HUMANITY would probably be taken as a compliment! To their credit, for a band that played so inhumanly fast, they were dam tight. Other highlights included Dean apparently pinching the keys to his managers Jag to go get doughnuts, a bunch of fans from Walthamstow bitching about all the 'kids' at the gig and JUNK CULTURE drummer Jonny pissing down a hole where a toilet should be at a garage should be on the way home, er, guess you had to be there!
Dawn Parade/ El Spoonio
25th October 2001
SteamBoat, Ipswich Got there just as EL SPOONIO were wrapping things up, which was a shame 'cos they sounded quite interesting. Kinda a tunefull mix between a light Foo Fighters and a medieval banqueting band? I will make more effort next time!
In no time at all DAWN PARADE were flinging themselves round on stage and treating everyone to a dose of 'gutterglam'. Not so sure 'bout gutterglam, don't know many gutter bands to compare them too, plus they all looked quite well washed! Kudos to DAWN PARADE for having the COOLEST bassist I have ever seen grace a stage (sorry Tard), plenty of lurching about and hitting his bass (we like that!) Singer Greg was fighting imaginary cobwebs as usual and everyone appeared to be lapping it up. There weren't many people at the SteamBoat, but everyone that was there had crammed themselves into the little area in front of the stage, which was cool to see. DAWN PARADE seem to be getting a rep as a band to be seen with, other Ipswich notable bands seen there tonight included OK HOTEL and VIOLENT PLAYGROUND, in fact KATE and LOUISE from VP looked like a force to be reckoned with in the dance! Other Kudos point to be awarded to DAWN PARADE for playing a really cool JOAN JET AND THE BLACK HEARTS cover, getting away with dramatically leaving the stage through the patio doors and then triumphantly returning for an encore, in a venue that had about 30 people in it, I'm not being sarc here, they did get away with it! Also sad muso Kudos to guitarist MOLEFUCKER for using a MusicMan guitar! Above all I was left with a sense of general confusion, and I am yet to figure out if that is a good thing or not! Also because I planted the seeds of a fantastic hangover whilst watching them that I am suffering now as I write this, I might even write something that could be construed as negative! I think this band is about 70% style (and they do look cool) and about 20% content, the other 10% is the bit that I am still confused about. I keep going to see them because I can never really pinpoint their sound, or any particular song. Saying that though, the marvellous Emma Culture has been humming one of their tunes all day! I suppose you could describe their sound as being Suede and Marc Bolan having a punch up, with Johnny Thunders throwing bricks from behind a nearby hedge and laughing at them. I will continue to go see them, if only to try and figure them out!