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The Wrong Whole


The Tap & Spile, Bangor. 25.02.05


(Reviewed by - MWJ)


A second-hand invitation is better than none but really it was only as I was in da area on some other nefarious musical activity that I popped in to offer some review of this event. If Iíd had to rely on a scan of their website, maybe wouldnít have bothered, as despite Misfits stylee Halloween fonts that trigger deep positive reactions, the band listing various pop-punk influences that I wouldnít really give the time of day or night for would do little to drag me out on a wintry night purely for themselves.


Many had though, and the pub was pretty rammed. Donít know if itís always like this, or whether the band has built up this following. The slightly impractical venue space may also add to the cosy feeling, as the band are playing (already when I arrive) tucked into a corner thatís partly obscured to at least half the pub, but gig spaces are as ever cherished so make the most of it. I saw most of the band while at the bar, then most of the songs and very little of the band from round the corner after.


The latter part of their set consisted of what I presumed was a couple of their own plus a couple of covers. The Bloodhound Gangs "kiss me where it smells funny" and the traditional "Tequila" are both entertaining if unchallenging, throwaway numbers and go down well. The others are quite different and seem to me to be far more in an emo-alt-rock vein than the spitting punk that their name and styling hints at. Perhaps as itís early days for the band and their still in the formative stages, finding their direction and not defining it to any great extent, enjoying it as it comes, the best way. The standard of musicianship on these numbers is pretty good; especially the guitars, good melodies, and the drums are consistently cutting through. The vocals arenít particularly strong, but seem heartfelt all the same and sit quite atmospherically with the rest of the output. Impossible to judge the sound effectively with a 90-degree angle and half a wall, but thereís good applause when theyíre done so must be deemed a success.


I wouldnít have really thought it a punk gig at all, but a whole load of posters and leaflets for Campaign Against the Arms Trade gave it a good if slightly incongruous political slant, which I was extremely pleased to see. Of course it shouldnít just be "punks" who have the responsibility for highlighting these issues through their work, everyone should, as Jello Biafra says, "Become the Media". State or corporate control of papers, tv, radio, all subtly shuffles uncomfortable facts of life from our transfixed, sedated gaze, any opportunity to drag it back into our faces, a needle in the eye, through alternative "infotainment" should be grasped and celebrated before thatís banned to. SO the bare facts, UK makes £6 billion a year selling weapons, 2000 children a day are killed or crippled through their (and others) effects. I have mates working for British Aerospace though, skilled engineers, sound blokes, gotta pay the bills somehow. Drastic systematic and societal change needs to come about to address the everyday nature of the military industrial complex we live in at the moment. Donít vote for any of the upholders of the status quo, it only encourages them. But hey, no one likes to be preached at, far better itís a subtle poke in the head at a bouncing Wrong Whole gig.



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