WEIRDSVILLE at the Fiddlers Elbow
MFC CHICKEN started off the night – their final weekend of playing shows until their frontman/saxer Spence can return from expired-visa exile in Canada. I watched a couple of songs and then a man with a loud voice and an ill-fitting hat perched on his head stood directly in front of me, totally obscuring my view. He immediately began shouting to the woman next to him how much he loved MFC Chicken. He only paid attention to the band in between songs, when he whoooped loudly and clapped as though his life depended on it.
After 3 or 4 songs I got sick of boring-loud-hat-man’s conversation so I pushed past him and went back to enjoying the gig. MFC Chicken make you feel as though you’re in ‘Happy Days’ at a School ‘Hop’. I wished I was wearing a cool 50s dress. My friend Gav stayed and listened to hat-man’s conversation. He reported to me afterwards that the main conversation was hat-man telling the woman how much he loved MFC Chicken and how he loved them so much that he was following them to their 2nd gig of the night at the Dirty Water Club. He probably talked all the way through that show too.
HELL-O-TIKI are non-stop volcanic surf, complete with voodoo skeleton suits, Mexican wrestling masks and exotic sexy dancer/party-starter/theramin & synth controller. I love them for so many reasons, probably the top 7 are these
1. They play fantastic happy surf music
2. They have skeleton suits
3. They don’t need fancy guitars to be amazing
4. They have a theremin
5. I wish I could dance like their dancer
6. They are from Belgium
7. I was in a right miserable mood all of saturday and they totally cheered me up.
Can’t wait to see them again. I bought their LP so now every day can be ‘tiki day’.
THE SCUMBUGS from Norway are a riot of proper punk-rock garage-punk. The stage was a mass of jumping bugs and shape-pulling. They are so punk. I love them.
After the bands two women DJs played excellent records for everyone to dance to.
3 days of sun, sand, and fantastic garage-punk. The party was based in a camp site, a better location than the hotel that the party was held in last time I went 2 years ago. All the bands of the weekend were brilliant. I watched all 12 bands, and it was great to be participating, as my band The Pukes played at the pool party on Friday afternoon.
The first band of Friday night was Las Marlenes, one of my favourites of the fiesta.
After Las Marlenes was Charm Bag, then the Jackets and lastly Miss Ludella Black. Afterwards we did dancing in the bar til the tiny hours, and then walked home (without even a jumper or anything! it was so hot!)
Saturday was my favourite day, starting with The Cheating Hearts playing on the bar terrace, followed by Leadfoot Tea and Fernando.
After Leadfoot Tea & Fernando there was a couple of hours break to listen to the excellent DJs, sample a few copas de cerveza and enjoy the sunshine. The Masonics kicked off saturday night, followed by Thee Jezebels, the The X-Men and a punk-rock finale of Biznaga. I absolutely loved all of the bands that played on the saturday.
Roll on next year for more Munster fun!
They aren’t a menace and they aren’t a beach.
They are catchy tunes and violent energy.
The Xmas gig that nearly broke me. A Xmas selection box of the best punk bands. All different. All brilliant. Interrobang?! used to be in Chumbawamba, Good Throb are a band that I should have seen before, PKN were charming and have the best drummer, and Hard Skin are the greatest. The DJ that played records in between the bands was crap so we went downstairs to a sea of pissed up office workers in Christmas jumpers.
Rebellion was fun. The first band I saw was Guida. They soon had the room full of spikey haired punks doing the ‘Quo dance. They were ace.
Guida. Rockin all over the punks.
I led a ‘Here’s 3 chords, now form a ukulele band’ workshop and taught 12 people the chords for Part Time Punk by the TV Personalities. The Pukes played later and we got the dozen Part Time Pukes up on stage with us to perform Part Time Punks. We congratulated ourselves on having the most people on stage. After the Pukes played we were supposed to hang around the merch stall but I seemed to drift away from the merch stall and into the middle of the crowd watching the Men They Couldn’t Hang. Their set ended with Green Fields of France, and most of the audience ended up on stage singing along. The prize for most on stage definitely went to Men They Couldn’t Hang. Stiff Little Fingers played in the main room downstairs so I went to see a bit of them but I thought they were a bit dull so I came back upstairs and caught the fantastic Dinner Ladies. They were so good that I bought their CD and 2 badges.
The brilliant Dinner Ladies
Hagar the Womb are without doubt the best and most punk band ever in the whole world. They are so punk that their guitarist can wear a tiger-print onesie and crocs and still look more punk than anyone in the whole punk festival. I love Hagar the Womb with all my heart. (i used my ink pens with this drawing, so there is an ink splot over Ruth’s microphone)
Hagar the Womb. The most punk band in the world.
I saw a load of good bands over the weekend. Highlights were Guida, Dinner Ladies, Men They Couldn’t Hang, TV Smith, Hard Skin, Left Over Crack, Captain Hotknives, Hagar The Womb and the old man playing organ at the end of the pier on the sunny saturday afternoon.
It was a sad/happy weekend. The final weekend of our favourite venue. The ONLY reason to go south of the river. I loved the Grosvenor for the following reasons: 1. they had a great selection of herb tea. If you were off the beer then you could sip a sorel & ginger tea whilst watching Doom or the Restarts. 2. They always let us put on gigs there, even though we always made gigs with french or german bands that no one had heard of and our gigs always lost money. They still gave the bands free beer tickets and never seemed pissed off that the venue was empty. 3. There was a house backline, which made playing there very easy. 4. They gave free beer tickets to bands. 5. There was a big disco mirrorball – an essential item for any pub/gig-venue. 6. John the landlord is a really ace person, and so are all the people who worked at the Grosvenor. One time they took my band Rabies Babies on holiday to Bath. John the landlord drove and we took the backline of the pub and played a gig in a crappy pub in Bath.
The final weekend of the Grosvenor was Hard Skin fuelled. They played on the friday and saturday. They were the perfect band for seeing off the Grosvenor.
My drawings of Hard Skin always seem to make Scott’s face look weird. In this one he has an ink blot over his face. I got some ink pens for my birthday and I’m still getting used to using them, so they blot quite a bit. I like the feel of using them though.
The Grosvenor is now destined to get swallowed up into the gentrification of Stockwell and will no doubt become a fine-dining bistro with luxury apartments above it. Hard Skin are playing again in December. I’ll try again with Scott’s face.
The Stupids played at the Black Heart in Camden. It was a great show – mix of ages and really good atmosphere with 3 great bands. Noise Complaint were on first and, for me, stole the show. They are amazing.
We visited south of France for the Happy Punk festival. We fell in love with Fred’s chien Scarlet, the best punk dog ever. Pink decided to improve our fish costumes with some red tape. Ohhh la la! Rabies Babies love le France!
Rabies Babies play a song for Scarlet at the Happy Punk Festival in France
Pink taped us up.
Scarlet le Chien