On a warm spring night we arrived at The Star and Garter, a public house which time seems to have forgot with its original features, velvet upholstery and grimy feel. We were greeted by Adam the Tour Manager and took our seat in the time warp. With its dark walls the stripped back music hall was perfect for tonight’s punk delights.
'Powerstomping since 2011' its 'Throwing Stuff', a very unique hardcore punk band, from the North West. With more feedback than your ear drums will ever need in a life time the lead singer takes stage and does his thing of screaming and shouting to the music, whilst getting punched in the head by his mates in the audience. 'BULLSHIT' and 'Just fuck off!' were just some of the lyrics he let out as he slipped on the floor onto his arse, took his top off and danced around. The other band members thrashed away whilst letting out smiles and working up a hard sweat. These lads really don't take themselves too seriously, which I suppose in todays music industry is a good thing. So if you fancy something less than ordinary try Throwing Stuff.
Next on were 'Crowns' from Cornwall who are ones to watch out for this year. Embracing their roots, the quartet play punk rock shanties with countless energy and humour on an eclectic ensemble of acoustic, bass and mandolin guitars, all backed up by drums.
'Full Swing' is the first track from their newly released EP and was widely received by the audience. The lads have a feel good vibe about them and as far as bass players go, he has to be the most energetic one I've ever seen! A very modern looking band with a traditional twist, they wonderfully blend old and new together and serve it up for your consumption (pastry optional).
Now its onto something a little more vicious. Sharks took centre stage clad in leather jackets and dark denim, real modern Punk edge. Starting off with the first tracks from their debut album 'Til The Wonders Rise' they set the benchmark. 'We're the overestimated underdogs…' the crowd got involved straight away, with obvious lively fans at the front. 'Hey rudy rudy!' was shouted along to the chorus of their next track 'Arcane Effigies', a song which upon first hearing catches you. With a punk air of mystery about him James plays guitar and sings vocals with a rather unique tone at times. As the lads warmed up the jackets were off. Moving into songs from their previous two EPs sweat starts to pour, spitting is in the air, headbands, knee jerks and high kicks for good measure. As the set deepened the crowd livened up and embraced the beautifully crafted music through the unfortunately poor sound system.
For a young band their performance level is well beyond their years. James informs us the title of song 'Glove in Hand' is Smiths inspired, “our favourite Manchester band” he quipped. Working the crowd up to an energetic buzz they finished off with more songs from their new album.
As the show came to an end the Sharks received many cheers and applause. Shaking hands with fans and staying around chat to new ones, its refreshing to see humble appreciation. I caught up with Ben the drummer as I bought myself a Sharks 'Fuck God Believe In Yourself' T-shirt. Thats official merch worth having! He told me he was pleased with such a warm reception in Manchester. Well, I hope you come back soon! If you fancy a bit of modern punk rock with a slight indie twist then a bit of Sharks/// meat is what you need.
'Til The Wonders Rise
Able Moving Hearts
It All Relates
Fallen on Deaf Ears
Glove In Hand
Review by Laura Everett
Photo sets by Melanie Smith - www.flickr.com/photos/vivamel/sets