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The waves of disbelieve rang through cyberspace this week with the message that Wigan’s punk, rock n’ roller band The Adjusters were splitting up, and kicking down the doors one last time. I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for Ash and the band, as they were my first band photoshoot, and seeing them blow the cobwebs off Haigh Hall Festival was a delight, way back in 2009. So, it felt only fitting that we trundle along to see the curtain close on the band one final time, and write our last review. We had a little chat before the show with both Ash and Manning, Manning said a few tears might get shed when the show finished, but otherwise he appeared pleased he would be moving onto new ventures. Ash told us the Boulevard was where it all began back in 2009 and now they are all planning to do other musical experiments, maybe trying a different style. So, its not the end for them as individuals as these rock n roll outlaws will be back in some other guise and band in the near future, just maybe not altogether.
I think we all knew it was going to be a packed out show, it was brimming with friends of the band, and several other musicians who have supported them along the journey. Everyone was in high spirits, and maybe just a bit pissed too, and why not ..…a good excuse to get hammered! No expense had been spared for this occasion, with black skull & bones emblazoned balloons, smoke machine, free E.P give-away on the door and tee shirts at a knock down price of £5.00, this was a celebration party. Before The Adjusters stormed the stage, we were treated to two guest bands, which warmed us adequately for the main show. Finally it was time for Ash and the guys to take their places on the small stage, the crowd were already packed at the front and baying for some blood, it was a frenzy from the first twang of their classic ‘Drinking Red Wine’ and there was no let up until it was all over some 45 minutes later.

Ash was on top form, belting out one song after the other, switching from older punky numbers to newer rocking tunes such as ‘You Gotta Say’ and ‘Dirty Little Tricks’ and the Wild West strains of ‘Tell Me What Your Thinking’, stripped to the waist with heavy coloured armour glistening with sweat after a couple of numbers. The now lean machine long legged Bowen, displays a lot more aplomb and cool than previous, and I swear he’s the secret love-child of Michael Monroe. Manning with his excellent drumming urged Phil and Matt to “keep it going, keep it going”, as he smashed his kit and in-between grimaced wildly for a photo. First time I’ve seen this newer line up, they have added Matt on bass and Fran on guitar, but it was also time for reminiscing and before too long we had all the previous band members jamming along – Leon Murphy, Andy Neafcy and Welliez [Ethan Mulvaney].

Everyone was videoing, photographing and we even had some audience participation with a spot of crowd surfing, Neafcy was spotted spread-eagled on top of the sweaty masses, whilst others danced and sang along.

Not only were they celebrating their grand finale, but it was also Matt's birthday, and he was treated to a birthday cake complete with candles, a raunchy sexy number, a cover version of ‘I got erection’ by Turbonegro, with a touch of friendly homo erotic frolicking with Matt and Ash, and if that wasn’t enough a lap dance from a rather chunky looking male [Ben Balmer] wearing nothing more than a thong and black nipple tassels. The place was in uproar; it was a wonderful gesture and its pretty clear they are all still good mates.

Reaching a heady climax with a blistering rendition of Little Richards ‘Long Tall Sally’, the band has certainly grown in confidence and stature since I last had the pleasure, and although it is with a sad heart we say goodbye they certainly went out in their prime, and a state of euphoria and that’s what counts. The Adjusters we love ya, wishing you all the best for the future!!


Review/photos/videos by Mel

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