Working a full day shift on a sun drenched Saturday is never going to be fun, with the phantom smells of cider and BBQ smoke mere hallucinations caused by boredom and a deficiency of vitamin D. Of course, this can only be made worse by the presence of a punk rock all dayer in your local pub; as such, this is a fairly incomplete review of the gig as a whole, organised by Punks Against Prejudice and billed as an ‘All day punk rock hootenanny’. Fortunately I still managed to finish work in time to catch some sun and some bands, arriving at the Brudenell just as Jock Sparra took to the stage and immediately bearing witness to a move from the singer which is known amongst knowledgeable circles as the ‘reverse mangina’…in a kilt and all. As beautiful a sight as this was, the gig room was still sweltering from the UV onslaught outside, so after listening to a couple of Cock Sparrer covers played by Scottish people, which seemed well executed and fun, we headed back out to sit and drink in the car park. Heading back inside as the sun started to dip behind the pubs façade I think we were all fairly hyped to see China Shop Bull, whose schizophrenic musical blender is criminally underrated. Seriously, in what other situation are you likely to hear a ska/punk/hip hop cover of the Dead Kennedys’ ‘Holiday in Cambodia’? They were one of the few bands that I actually saw get the crowd moving during what was a fairly subdued gig crowd-wise, and definitely one of the high points of the evening. After a short break during which I attempted to catch up with the others, who had around 24 hours extra drinking time on me, we saw West Yorkshire favourites Acid Drop. This band get massive kudos in my book for stylistically emulating possibly one of the most unfashionable music genres possible (90s Californian style skate punk), not giving two flying shits, and playing well crafted, memorable tunes in the bargain. Whatever your preconceptions might be, check them out.
Some last minute line-up changes meant that the place of Leatherface was taken by H.D.Q., whose 80s melodic UKHC sounded tight and fresh. At least, it did from what I heard from the other room – apparently my age is catching up with me, as my eardrums needed a break from the Brudenell’s impressively heavy sound. I recovered in time to head back in to see Neck, despite losing gig companions due to earlier excess while I had been at work. I was still fairly excited to see Neck, a band I hadn’t seen for years but whom I remember being pretty much the definition of the craic, and I was not disappointed. They blasted through a set of select cuts from their records interspersed with frenetic instrumental tracks which had the by know sparse crowd jumping/stumbling around in a drunken approximation of dancing…psycho-fucking-ceilidh indeed! It was impossible to be too disappointed by the lack of Leatherface when they were replaced by a headliner this good, but some people clearly had not considered this – the biggest downside to this gig was the poor turn-out. I’ve always thought that the scene in Leeds was oddly apathetic when it came to turning out to see bands, and unfortunately last Saturday seemed to support my fears. Despite this, it was still a top notch gig, the beer flowed, the sun shone, the music made my ears bleed, it was almost a perfect punk rock fairytale. Here’s to the next hootenanny, fingers crossed that people will pull their fingers out and get to these events; it’s your scene, fucking do something with it!