Gig Review: Pop-punk All-Dayer #1 @ Gullivers, Manchester (presented by Awesome Androids Records)

Posted: December 16, 2014 in Liveage


I will open this review by admitting that this is only a partial review of the pop-punk all-dayer in Manchester, as, thanks to train delays and sleeping too much, I missed the first four bands. So, if you want a comprehensive review of this gig, look away now, but I’m sure that Munters, Junior Vice President, Werecats and Get Human were all awesome. The good thing is that at such a packed gig, I still had SIX bands left to see, so all was not too bad in the world.

Anyway, back to what I actually saw, and band number five came on the stage: Andrew Cream, backed by a full band. I knew very few songs by Mr. Cream before this gig, but I’ve listened to pretty much everything since. They were really excellent. He has been gigging on the DIY punk circuit for a while, but only recently has he been backed by a full band. I’m not sure if this is going to be a permanent thing or not, but it really worked to bring out his sound better. The sound, if you were wondering, is passionate, yet melodic, personal folk-punk ditties. Andrew joked that he was the odd-one out in a pop-punk all-dayer, but when it works this well, who gives a shit? Next up were local pop-punkers and crowd favourites Don Blake, who play fast and melodically. All of their songs are short, sharp segments of poppy fun. The vocal melodies remind me quite a bit of Mike TV. They apparently rattled through 17 songs in their set, and I felt quite worn out by the end just watching them.

Surf’s up with The Lemonaids! This is Glasgow’s best (and only) surf-punk band. They have described themselves as Beach Boys meets The Ramones and that is not far off wrong. They play super-happy, super-melodic, highly-energetic pop-punk, all clad in Hawaiian shirts with a focus on all things surf. Yes, it is pretty generic Ramonescore, and admittedly, I found listening to the album a bit much when I first heard it, but The Lemonaids rule live. They are full of the energy perhaps lacking in their recorded material (which I find with much Ramonescore). So much fun. Most of the hits played here are from their most recent album Back to the Beach. Next up were The Kimberely Steaks, and more pop-punk from Glasgow (and indeed include at least one member of The Lemonaids in their line-up). But rather than surfing and beach babes, The ‘Steaks deal with isolation, boredom, alcohol dependency and Streets of Rage. Much more suited to Glasgow. To Live and Die in West Central Scotland is one of my favourite punk releases of 2014 and they did not disappoint live. All of the best songs off that were played, including “On My Mind” and “My Quarter Life Crisis”. Live, they do not mess about and shred through their set-list at super-speed. It may be the Billie-Joe like vocals, but they remind me of, even more so live, early Green Day at twice the tempo. Like if your Kerplunk cassette had got caught and started playing at the wrong speed. But yes, this was ace and when I felt like the All-Dayer really started to get MENTAL.

And then the Zatopeks came on. This was the band I was probably most excited about seeing. I had seen them before live, but when I wasn’t totally aware of just how awesome they are. Plus, I realised how much of a rarity this live show would be these days, with a high percentage of Zatopeks members now residing outside of the UK. Anyway, this was great. The set was full of energy and passion, with singer Will de Niro spending most of the time off the stage. And the hits were played, oh yes they were. I like that there was a decent variety of stuff played, spanning over all three of their albums, including “City Lights”, “Turkish Bread Chronicle” and the ‘political section’, which comprised of “The Daily Mail” and “Politics”. I hope it’s not too long before they are back. And finally to the headliners Lipstick Homicide on their first ever European tour. It took me a long time to get properly into this band, and I realised during watching them here that I now definitely was pretty fucking into them. LipHo killed it. Energy, passion and precision: it was all there. There was not an ounce of fat on their set. Most of the songs played were from their latest LP Out Utero, with the main exception being a cover of “Today the World, Tomorrow the Girl”, during their spontaneous encore. This is one of the few times when I have felt that an encore has been deserved. An awesome end to an awesome day. I think pop-punk is still doing alright, y’know.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s