Call me Russ L

GDFAF #8: Contempt / Eastfield / Pungent Smells (14/10/7)

Posted in Going Deaf For A Fortnight 2007, Music by Russ L on 15 October, 2007

Back to the Goodfaffery. I didn’t actually have anything planned for the 14th, and so a degree of interwebnettery was needed on the actual day. I was tempted to go and see Lethal Bizzle at The Civic, but thought I already had enough ‘big’ gigs attended and planned for the fortnight (it’s not strictly contrary to the rules, but enormodome things don’t accord 100% with the general spirit of it all. Having said that, though, it’s supposed to be about pushing yourself and a gig in a big hall is a lot more alien and weird-feeling to me than a gig in an actual pub. Hmmm…). I ended up opting for a punk ‘n’ reggae do in the beer garden of The Malt Shovel in Balsall Heath. It was Goodfaffy in the sense of being a venue I’d never been to before but not-especially-Goodfaffy in terms of the fact that I knew in advance that I’d miss the start and the end, being as it was meant to be on from “2pm till Late”. 2pm had already passed, and we public transport-eers don’t do ‘late’.

I eventually got there whenever I got there (just after six? I forget), to find not a lot in the way of live music happening in the back garden. Reggae records were being played out there (as well as in the pub – dubbier stuff outside, rootsier stuff in. Soundclash! Well, not really) and I soaked up the ambience (and some Red Stripe) for a bit, before deciding to head down the road for a pint (or two) to pass the time. I returned to find a band onstage, and (eventually) established that I was about halfway through the bill (not knowing who this band were and not being too clear about precisely who was on the bill didn’t help with this). Since I doubt they got three (I think) bands on while I was away, I can only assume that they had some on earlier on in the afternoon followed by a really long break. Or something. I was hugely confused.

A bit of research has shown me that the first band I saw were called Pungent Smells (lovely. No website as far as I can tell, but I did come across this video of them). Your basic streetpunk-with-bits-of-reggae lark, none too interesting. Eastfield, however, were great. I’ve always liked them but have managed to let it go over six years since I last saw them. Oops. For those that don’t know them, their ‘urban rail punk’ might best be described as high energy three-chord pop-punk, with frequently witty lyrics. They’re a really, really fun band, and hopefully I won’t let it go for another six years before I see them again.

I’m not sure they’d approve of me as much, though. I’ve paid on every train I’ve been on for quite a long time now. The lessons of ‘Faredodging’ have obviously been lost on me.

Contempt were on next, playing hardcore punk (the streetpunk-sped-up type, not the pointing your fingers in the air and using American phrases type). I know they’re a well-regarded band amongst the sort of people who regard them well, but I wasn’t feeling them – they seemed to be just the typical sort of thing, really, without any especially memorable songs.

Things were due to keep on going (they’re probably still going on now), but that was about enough for me. I enjoyed this gig, though, disproportionately when you consider I only actually liked one band out of the three that I saw.



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