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Tag: politics

AGAINST IMMISERATION; An Essay by Dom Kaddish

WYAZ presents the second post-EU referendum essay by Dom Kaddish. Please read, consider, respond and circulate as you deem necessary. Discussion and discourse is actively encouraged.

End, As In Aim.

So picture the gravest fear and dread.
Here hope is the lie that keeps its head.

Say you’ve got a hope.
Say you want an end to fear.

An end to fear.

Say you’ve got a hope.
Say you want an end to fear.

Photo by J. Cumiskey

AGAINST IMMISERATION

What’s the fucking point of playing in a band when your body is ageing and your hearing damaged? What’s the fucking point of going to gigs and chatting, on the level, to people of different ages, genders, colours, cultures, and backgrounds when the media constantly chastens us with images of violence, and enjoins us to hate others and be suspicious of them? What’s the fucking point of voting in a referendum where the crunch matter appears to have come down to an entitled Tory elite masturbating over how to convince one of their female members to reheat the tired ghost of Margaret fucking Thatcher?

Here’s a suggestion: couldn’t it be that the deluded little spaces in which we play, chat, act, think and commit ourselves are more political by a long shot than the black hole at Westminster that awaits the next bunch of careerists perverse enough to get sucked into it? The fucking point, then, would be that our whole conception of politics has to change. For example, what created the current constitutional crisis in the UK was misplaced faith in an out-of-date form of representative government centred on individuals as well-informed agents, capable of making rational choices in their own best interests, and of acting in the best interests of others when presented with a crude either/or choice on an issue of massive complexity. This model was co-opted by greed, self-interest, stupidity, lack of information, and a giant dose of the negative affects of shame, fear and hate. Given the fallout, perhaps it is now time to try to do something paradoxical, different, and more excitingly difficult: to try, at one and the same time, to think and act both above and below the out-of-date model of politics.

By ‘above’, I mean this: we have to aspire to have the courage and the temerity to look the complexity of our world straight in the face. That is, we have to aspire to a culture, not where no-one is an expert (à la Gove), but where everyone is. This would be a culture in which everyone aspires to learn something about such heady things as economics, statistics, as well as big data patterns in demographics and human geography, and where an understanding of the role of nonhuman actors in politics would be encouraged (e.g. the role of such actors in the current UK crisis as mobile computing, agricultural and fishing yields, the English Channel, globalisation, the ecological crisis, etc. etc.). This would not be a culture where knowledge of such things was used to baffle and belittle; rather, since no one single actor could feasibly claim a knowledge of the whole, it would be a culture where everyone takes some responsibility for educating themselves and others, and where each is empowered and encouraged to do.

By ‘below’, I mean this: the UK referendum of 23 June 2016 was a coup for a reactive form of politics that traded on affects and gut reactions, instead of on concepts tied to the out-of-date model of politics mentioned above (e.g. the concept of the transparently well-informed and rational voter; or that of a ‘minister’ who is ‘prime’ in the sense of being the first and most powerful person to look after the needs of all the people in his or her polity, when the then incumbent was exposed by events for an incompetent beholding to the interests of Tory bigots of depressing resilience and longevity). What was far more effective than concepts and reason in swaying the campaigning in this instance was the propagation of the aforesaid negative affects of shame, fear and hate. Faced with these affects, the fatal mistake of left/liberal sections of the media/social media/the Twitterati was a retreat into the echo chamber of fatalistic intellectualism (consider the typical Brexit crisis moves made by these sections of the media: black humour, condescension, introspection and soul searching, cod philosophy, historical musings, irony, droll memes, the attempt at agonised liberal ‘understanding’ of what could have driven the dispossessed and disenfranchised to it, etc., etc.). The result was two modes of political address that comprehensively talked past one another: one employing the ‘post-fact’ logic of icons, hates, and anxieties; the other employing a form of reason that had become too clever and self-reflexive by half.

One solution to this impasse, I am suggesting (the one that goes ‘above’), is to aspire to better education, in terms of better concepts that have a better purchase on the complexities of our interconnected and interdependent world. Here’s another solution for how we might simultaneously get ‘below’ the impasse: first, let’s give up old concepts tied to the values of liberal/humanistic education and grand parliamentary politics; second, let’s avoid propagating negative affects in their place; third, let’s focus instead on the creation and nurturing of positive affects, such as joy, love, and openness. If such an agenda seems liberal, Christian, ‘new agey’ or out of step with what I said above about the necessity of arriving at better concepts, then you have simply missed the point. This is because what is at stake here is not how ‘good’ or ‘wise’ you or I might be, nor how much right we might have to the moral high ground, nor how much we might like the recourse to safe, comfortable, and ultimately hopelessly out of touch old political categories. Rather, what is at stake is what should be termed the ‘ecology’ of our mental health, well-being and fellow feeling, and by ‘our’ here, I mean the mental health of everyone with a stake in the issues of which the current UK constitutional crisis is symptomatic, including everyone else in the world right now, and all future generations.

The ecology of mental health concerns how one’s mindset, mood, and general sense of affect relates to the world in which it finds itself. This ecology has not, we should admit, been in a good way, globally, for some time now, and its problems predate the 2008 financial crisis by some way (in fact, they feed into it as conditions of its possibility). Here’s a suggestion as to what has eroded it: spaces of immiseration. Under this concept, we could group any number of environments that go into shaping the character of the contemporary globalised world, including, but far from limited to: factories in China; Coltan mines in the Congo; sweatshops in Turkey and Bangladesh; battlefields in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria; Social Security offices and dole queues in any ‘developed’ country; all that urban sprawl that was so ripe for sub-priming in the US pre-2008; open-plan offices; bookies; grey and ill-equipped classrooms; call centres; slaughterhouses; Amazon depots; police cells; and the countless situations in which way too much solitude is frittered away in front of a TV or a computer. Here’s a suggestion as to what might act as the antidote: spaces of possibility. Such spaces, to start from the highly dubious base of idealising what I personally know and esteem, might include: live music spaces; classrooms where participants are encouraged and equipped to learn from all others present and not simply shut their mouths and act as consumers of information spoon fed by the guy mansplaining at the front; parks; wilderness; sports pitches where moments of team creativity emerge; seashores; long walks through places either familiar or unfamiliar, with or without guiding thread; art galleries, studios, and workshops where you might actually stand the chance of speaking and interacting with artists and craftspeople; book shops, record shops and libraries; day centres, drop-in centres, and clinics where you can bump into people all too burned out by the state of it all not to speak themselves honestly, with heart.

I said that it was dubious to start from what I personally know and esteem. You are therefore entirely free to take issue with the list I have just contrived, as too ‘male’, ‘romantic’, ‘liberal’, ‘hipster’ (God forbid), or whatever. This apart, however, let me extend two invitations to you that are centred on the concepts mentioned above, and not on what I have grouped under them. First, to reflect on the spaces of possibility that matter most to you. Second, and far more importantly, to reflect and act on how we might convert spaces of immiseration into spaces of possibility. The first of these tasks, undertaken collectively, would amount to an inventory of our weapons: a stocktake of the spaces that matter to us, and that renew our sense of health and possibility for the living of meaningful lives. The second task would involve using these weapons on the battlefields where the real politics of our lives get fought out (and not in exclusive, outmoded, rarefied political vacuums such as Westminster, where fractions of the battles of our lives get misrepresented and used as pawns in games played by self-serving political cadres).

Fear of the other. Fear of the self. Fear of death. Fear of the unknown. Fear of technology and the pace of change. Fear of not ‘being a man’, whatever that means. Fear of irrelevance and poverty in an age of celebrity and the ‘super rich’. Fear of being fat, stupid, old, or useless. Fear of gun and knife crimes, rape, and hate. ETC. FUCKING ETC. These are the negative affects that spaces of immiseration nurture like cancer. How do we take the love, hope, joy, respect, and sense of other possible worlds and horizons that spaces of possibility involve and use them to bring out the possibilities that spaces of immiseration keep repressed under the increasingly shabby and disingenuous veneer of consensus and polite society? And what makes this struggle both worthwhile and eminently doable, on an everyday basis, and from this very instant?

Consider whether something like the following might work for you (if not, invent your own tactic, as is your right and your want): the next time you realise you are in a space of immiseration (and the gut sinking feeling will be sufficient to establish it), think about how you typically act in a space of possibility, and insinuate one such way of acting into the space of immiseration. The next time after this, insinuate two acts. After that, insinuate three. After that, four. And so on, and so on, until new possibilities have reached such a pitch that they have somehow cracked open the space of immiseration in favour of something better and more liveable. The acts I have in mind here can be crude or sophisticated, and might include: making passionate music, for purposes other than consumption; being playful; thinking tangentially; daydreaming; humour; kindness; openness; interest in others and their stories and fates; acts that are revelatory of self and history without tipping into narcissism; expressions of wonder, weakness, and astonishment; recognitions of limitations and ignorance; the construction of a shared focus or creative goal between you and others that adds some measure of dignity to the space, however small; the vigilant attempt to keep the spectre of the profit motive to a minimum. And so on, and so on, etc., etc.

What’s especially funny about such acts is when they work subliminally – that is, when others within the space recognise that a new possibility has been introduced, but resist it, preferring instead the tendencies of immiseration as a kind of short-term comfy/long-term deadly safety net. Because the roboticisms of immiseration cannot recognise new possibilities, you can rest assured that there will be no immediate explicit reproach for the possibility you have introduced (that is, no shared recognition that the recognition has taken place individually within the separate actors in the space). What there might be, however, is a more or less collective implicit recognition – a seed planted that will grow with time. In this case, the words, actions and affects you use to make spaces of immiseration become spaces of possibility will take on the character of a sort of gentle and subtle guerrilla warfare: a thousand little harrying tactics intended to perplex and provoke others into giving up the dubious safety net of immiseration.

To sum up:
Stop thinking in terms of redundant concepts representative of a bygone age of politics.

Start aspiring to think in terms of the complex concepts that we all know are required to think the world in which we live.

Stop tolerating the poisonous effects of negative affects through inaction and resignation.

Start spreading positive affects in any practicable way you can, because they are sufficient to convert spaces of immiseration, however overwhelming, ubiquitous and monolithic these spaces may seem in the contemporary world, into spaces rich in open and positive possibilities for new forms of life.

***

ASTHENIA PDF-page-001

Kaddish play Conroy’s Basement in Dundee with Asthenia (Japan), Human Hands (eng) and Arkless (eng) on Wednesday 17th August.

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The New Situation; An Essay by Dom Kaddish

IMG_0515

The world we live in is not the world we were born into. The following is an essay written by a man for whom I have the deepest of respect in all capacities; musically, artistically, professionally, as a thinker, as a peer, as a human; and someone I am grateful to call a good friend, Dom Kaddish.

In solidarity and hope, I am humbled to provide WYAZ as a platform.

The New Situation.

[Dear All, the following is overtly, and not allusively political. If you disagree with it in style or substance, come along to, for example, a punk rock show or a University class room and tell us or someone else why. In other words, use every available opportunity to keep up the impetus for a new grass roots progressive politics to emerge in the UK and elsewhere post-23 June 2016. It is necessary but not sufficient for us to discuss such things through the Internet. We also need to make them count in building a better society, through our actions and words in the spaces where we actually commit our bodies].

Yesterday, 1 July 2016, the Conservative party in the UK attempted to assure us that politics in the UK is ‘back to business’ in the wake of Brexit. A Mr. Gove invoked further deluded promises about the NHS, when discretion suggested this was a thing best avoided. A Mrs. May invoked her talents as a hard worker, as well as her gender (this last point being important in the context of the obnoxious ‘boy’s club’ that led to Brexit, but Mrs May’s party is attempting to cash in on it in a way that superficially emulates but actually runs counter to the progressive female strand of politics running through, say, Holyrood).

None of this can stand: we simply cannot allow the elite of the Conservative party to try to convince us that they are operating on the basis of a post-Brexit consensus, and that they have our interests at heart in any way at all. We cannot allow politics to return to a state of unscrutinised Tory-led ‘management’. Doing so will only validate what has always been at the heart of the Tory party: upstairs privilege over downstairs servitude.

Instead of building a consensus and helping the people of the UK, the Conservative party has perpetrated an act of unparalleled violence against the social ontology of the UK in the lead up to, and in the wake of, the referendum of 23 June 2016. That is, they have effected a shift in the way that every entity related to the entity ‘the UK’ relates to every other entity related to this entity. They have done it by instrumentalising a mode of politics (the either/or referendum) that was always too crude to deal with the complexities of this ontology, and the consequence of this is that neighbours, words, glances, embraces, sighs, stares, handshakes, schools, immigrants, jobs, friends, taxis, hopes, fears, pensions, pounds and Euros (etc., etc., ad infinitum) no longer relate in the same way as before.

Given this violence, attempts to move on are appropriate. These include: humour; changing the topic of conversation; smiling a bit more; feeling a bit more driven to think, write or feel something; being warmer and more open to people who don’t look and think like you; wanting to strive for a better and more tolerant society that doesn’t condone or cynically instrumentalise racism, etc., etc. These attempts to move on are not attempts to move backwards. On the contrary, attempts to move backwards are, by definition, ‘conservative’, and if there is one entity that events since 23 June have comprehensively destroyed, it is the party that bears that name.

There can be no ‘business as usual’ on behalf of the Conservative party because there is no Conservative party. Instead, the convulsing psychotic ghost that persists in the wake of that party has no consensus, no mandate, and no real vision at all, and this makes it a deeply dangerous, reactionary, and volatile force (witness May’s party’s instrumentalisation of the female card, one of the few apparently progressive moves that was left to it). That said, it also makes it a potentially weak and waning force, provided we, the progressive and internationalist forces in the game, play our cards right, and cease to be so haunted.

There can be no business as usual in the wake of 23 June, in whatever sense (as resigned, as alienated, as disenfranchised, as relieved, as whatever). We have to lay claim to our changed social ontology and recognise that the Conservative party and the hideous forces they have recently colluded with can have no real part to play in it, provided that we have the courage to exorcise them. We have to do our business differently, by not giving up and accepting Conservative attempts to manage what they have conjured. Much more is possible than that for progressive, tolerant, and socially just reform of all sorts of entities, including, but not limited to: the EU, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland, the age divide, racism, the North/South divide, the European sense of self and other.

Let’s resolve to be socially responsible and just citizens in a time of spectres.

***

Kaddish released “Thick Letters To Friends” in 2014. Their new LP will be released soon.

This Is Not A Referendum Post

So it’s the eve of the Referendum and we’re on the crest of a wave of history; hysteria is at a premium and roasters of all persuasions are waving their flags and parroting rhetoric left, right and centre; none of which is in itself suprising. For the record, MTAT holds no official position. There is no authority higher than yourself; inform yourself and do what you feel is right. Personally, I’m pro-independence, anti-nationalist and against government-encouraged free market capitalism. All empires fall eventually. You know shit is getting out of hand when the polis are telling ye to chill out.

I wrote about this shit on my facebook page and said thus;

People not politicians, independence not nationalism. All governments are liars and propagandists in the pocket of big business and corporations concerned with profit, self-interest and self-preservation. Exchanging one brand of sycophant for another solves nothing. A fundamental change in the “system” is required for positive change to come about, not just the colour of the flag and the plaque above the door. Empire is no longer fit for purpose. Question all authority. Free movement for all.

There is no end of exciting shit on the Scottish independent DIY punk rock scene though and there’s a whole bunch of good stuff coming up in Dundee over the next couple of weeks. The Ickle Film Fest kicks off in Dundee tomorrow night and shall be running all weekend, culminating with a showing of FILM YER ANE; The BOOK YER ANE FEST Documentary and a live performance from homegrown emo punks Lachance on Sunday 21st September at the closing party of the festival at Tin Roof, Dundee from 5pm. The festival itself has gone from strength to strength over the last couple of years and there truly is something for everyone over the course of the weekend. Thank you so much to the organisers for asking us to be involved. Please check out the full programme of events below.

There are a couple of banging shows happening in Dundee the following weekend too. Friday 26th September sees our old pals Roughneck Riot return to Dundee for as part of their first full UK tour in 3 years in support of their brand new record “Out Of Anger” that is soon to drop on Manchester’s much respected stalwarts of DIY punk TNS Records. This band of rabble-rousers are true believers for sure and are some of the good guys. Collectively, we owe Matty and company more favours than we could ever hope to repay and they are also one of the hardest rockin’ shit-kicking punk rock bands around. Modernist “traditional” punk rock ain’t usually my bag beyond perhaps Flogging Molly (by virtue of Dave King’s songwriting) but these guys bring all the passion and energy of punk to their intrinsic understanding and respect for folk music. It’ll be great to see them back in Dundee.

roughneck riot

This show will also be the last for Jeff from Maxwell’s Dead before he departs for New Zealand, so it’s likely to be yet another emotionally charged affair. The Dundee ska-punk clowns have just released their new album. It’s called “A Deer In The Headlights” and it’s an altogether darker and more reflective piece of work than their earlier bouncy and super-melodic offerings. Lyrically, the album is more experimental and socio-political in tone whilst also being searingly honest and not proffering up answers, only asking more questions. Without descending into a metaphysical black hole, it’s a great record and a change of pace for the band that shows a more mature and reflective side, yet still retains it’s inherent playfulness and pogo-pop-punk swag. Check it out on bandcamp now. Dundee veteran punks The Eddies and Bathgate’s The Gimme Gimme Gimmes will also be on what should be a rare old Friday night bill at Non-Zeros.

The following day sees a whole bunch of busyness with the Dundee Together Against Racism and Fascism event happening in Dundee’s City Square from 11.30am through 4pm. There will be live music performances from The Cundeez, Buffalo Soldiers and heaps more, plus myself playing an acoustic set under the guise of Derrick Johnston (Uniforms). I think I’m having some sort of identity crisis with all the different pseudonyms I’ve adopted recently. I think I may have developed some sort of tri-polar messianic complex, but that’s probably a discussion for another time. The MTAT crew will be out in force handing out flyers and download codes for free music, so if you are about in Dundee next Saturday afternoon, do please stop by and say hello. We’ll be the ones dressed in black in front of the black flag…

arliss nancy

Later on that night sees a very welcome return to Dundee from our friends Arliss Nancy at an exclusive Scottish show and one of only 3 UK dates that they are playing in 2014. This will be the third time that these Colorado alt-country punks have played Dundee and we’re very excited that they’ve decided to come and play their only Scottish show of tour for us at Kage. Last year’s “Wild American Runners” LP is an essential document of US tour life and is packed full of all the hope and heartbreak of facing new frontiers. Road-wearing yet wide-eyed, Arliss Nancy are a pretty special band that have become friends of ours over the last few years and we are absolutely delighted to be hosting them in Dundee again.

They will be joined by a premier league supporting cast of locals in the form of emo-tinged Scottish mongers of angst, melody and rock Robot Doctors, who will be playing their first Dundee show since the packed-out launch night for their “Time Will Tell” album back in May, alongside the previously mentioned gang-chanted impassioned emo/punk nostalgic sounds of our own troops Lachance. The wonderful Broken Stories will be opening the show and will no doubt be treating us to some old favourites plus a handful of future classics from their forthcoming EP, full details of which will emerge in the next couple of weeks. Physical tickets for the show are on sale at Groucho’s, Dundee or you can save yourself a couple of quid by getting an e-ticket for a fiver here.

Talking of e-tickets, there are less than ten Super Earlybird Weekend Tickets for £20 left so if you want to ensure entry to all 7 BOOK YER ANE FEST shows, then I’d recommend getting on that shit now.

Next up is The Fur Coats in Dundee (at Kage) on Friday 10th October with The Shithawks, Salem Street and Overdose. Full details coming soon but wrap your cranium around this peach in the meantime.

In crust, we trust.

Live; Nothington (USA) / Bonehouse / Shatterhand / Andy Chainsaw – Edinburgh

Nothington in Edinburgh

Walk The Plank Promotions hosted their second show of a very busy weekend on Sunday night at The Banshee Labyrinth, Edinburgh which saw San Francisco punks Nothington return to Scotland for the first time in over three years. “Borrowed Time”, their last LP, is one of my very favourite punk records thus far this decade and I hadn’t seen them since Fest 10, so I was very excited. Papa D and Jonny Domino picked Abbie and I up around half 5 and we made our way to the capital. We met up with Jamie and found our recommended-by-Boab falafel shop closed, so settled on the old favourite that is The City Cafe; always a good choice for pre-show scran. Once finished, we headed round to The Banshee (my mozzarella, tomato and basil bloomer was excellent btw).

Our good friend Andy Chainsaw opened the show playing purely acoustic on the floor to the side of the stage and had (I think) already played a couple of songs before we appeared, but we arrived in time to catch the majority of his set. Andy was in full voice and belted out his grizzled punk tales of woe with ever-present passion and gusto that seems to grow with each performance. Nervousness may masquerade as self-deprecating humour at times and ending on a new song then forgetting how it goes isn’t the ideal, but Andy pulled it off with his usual charm and provided a warm, fitting opening to a mixed bill in the cosy confines of The Banshee. Andy will be touring later in the year so keep yo peepers peeled. You can get the “High Windows and Low Tides” EP for free from here.

Next up were those nutters in Shatterhand who were wrapping up a weekender after playing with No Contest and Sink Alaska in Stirling on Friday night then running the first all-ages matinee show in Falkirk on Saturday (check out Tub Thumper Promotions) and they were on fire. Seriously, Shatterhand exhibit more passion and energy than most bands half their age, marrying gobby snarled punk rock with incredible guitar-work and some of the wildest, hardest drumming you’re ear likely to see. Honestly, Brian “Big Baby” Hastings is an absolute beast on the kit, sitting in tight with the thumping running bass underpinning the whole thing. In between booze-fuelled bangers like “Brewdog Nights” and “The Tenpercenters”, Shatterhand are also a fiercely independent yet thoughtful entity, something often missed, as evidenced by the discussion and subsequent reaction to the song “Paradigm Shift”. Rather than regurgitate or paraphrase, here’s what the guys had to say about it (from their facebook);

shatterhand tattoo

“Mike’s Tattoo – The words are from our song “Paradigm Shift” which was written with a genuine positive intent and to show support with a friend struggling with suicide issues. It is intended to reach people in kindness and we hope that people can talk openly about the subject without judgement and know that they are not alone when they are at their darkest moments. If you’re at one of our gigs and we try to start a discussion about suicide before playing this song it is in no way intended to upset or offend, but rather to bring it into the open and to just talk about it like rational human beings who all have failings, limitations and face their demons every day and we hope it gives the song some context. Respect and Unity!”

A punk rock show isn’t a class room just as a stage or floor isn’t a pulpit, but I guess the ideal is that the best parts of punk rock are about the open exchange of ideas, safe spaces for all and tolerance. The key word there is “ideal”; if you’re going to be tolerant of ideas that you support, you have to be prepared to be tolerant of those ideas that you don’t support. Freedom of expression means freedom of expression for all. Punk rock should mean freedom across the board. I don’t know exactly what I’m getting at (well, I do, I’m just not articulating my thoughts very well), but I can only describe my perception of an atmosphere; there were some WEIRD VIBES BRO. Regardless, Shatterhand were rocking and Dave is a wizard of a guitarist and was playing slide with a Brewdog bottle at one point. Rare!

The Banshee was getting progressively busier as the evening rolled on and the place was pretty much packed by the time Bonehouse hit the floor. While they may have initially seemed a strange choice of support for a gruff punk show, there is no denying that Bonehouse are one of the finest bands in the country and their blend of intricate guitar work, soaring harmonies and paint-stripping screamo vocals really hit the spot, as always. Vocalist Dave was apologetic about his vocals, complaining of a sore throat (full sympathy from this guy) but he needn’t have been; the band were tight (as always), with drummer Iain laying the strongest foundation you could hope for with his solid, technical and progressive style. He makes it look so easy too. This was another exemplary performance from the lads and watching Sean writhe and wriggle whilst the band belt out the three-way vocals is always a treat. A whole room singing along with “The Bonehouse Summer Jam” and it’s hook of “In spite of it all she’s unable to tell the time” is always a goosebumps-inducing moment, this night being no exception. The crowd was increasing in rowdiness by the end of their set and I’d say it was a solid victory across the board.

Bonehouse are heading out on tour in Europe this summer with Brighter Arrows from Chicago this summer and will also be dropping a four-way split with Canadian punks Polina and Todos Caeran and Dundee heroes Kaddish, so keep your eyes peeled for that dropping on various labels in the next couple of months.

The place was rammed by the time Nothington arrived to blast us with their road-worn tales of loneliness, isolation, heartbreak and hope with a bunch of excited punks congregating at the front (okay; Jonny, Jamie and I on our side!) and certain members of the crowd were more drunk than others. Nothington have been in Europe for almost a month now and the band have that special “tour tightness” and didn’t miss a beat, although it was clear that the guys were a little road weary and are on the home stretch of tour. You couldn’t tell in their performance though as they ripped through their set with the same drive and enthusiasm of a band that has toured the world over and played the main stage at Groezrock a couple of weeks ago. It’s that kind of dedication that is inspiring; it doesn’t matter if it’s in front of thousands of people at a festival or a dark room in Edinburgh in front of sixty people on a Sunday night; the delivery is the same. That ethic is something a lot of people could learn from. Anyway, I spent the first half of the set pretty much screaming along with Chris and pumping my fist in his face as the band belted through the likes of “The Escapist” (a very close personal favourite song of mine) “I Should Stay” and the banger that is “Where I Stand” with it’s incredible woah’s and Leatherface-esque riffage from their debut LP “All In”. I’m pretty bad at remembering set lists as I’m usually singing along, this case being no exception.

The band played a good mix of material from their discography and were inspiring sing-a-longs and fists in the air from the start. The crowd were getting pretty rowdy and there was plenty of dancing, rocking out and pushing and shoving going on. I moved to the back as I wanted to film a little bit although it’s so dark in The Banshee at times that’s it’s difficult to see a thing at times. It also wasn’t ideal that the lights kept cutting out at various moments. Still, it all added to the atmosphere and the rowdiness, which soon got a little bit out of hand. Obviously everyone wants to have the best time at shows and enjoy themselves, but people also need to posses some self-awareness. I’m not going to tell people how to act and how to behave, but people need to be accountable for their own actions; there were a lot of elbows being thrown around at the front with some people acting like roasters and at one point it all kicked off and a pull apart happened, with people being knocked over, pushed around and escorted to the doors. Abbie got stomped on by some roaster and covered in beer and I had to pick two folk up off the floor at the door; not exactly what you’re looking for when watching one of your favourite bands. As I mentioned before, punk rock is not a church or a primary school, but there’s a line when it comes to acceptable behaviour and levels of drunken roasterism at shows. Far be it for me to call anybody on this as I’ve been that dick many times, but it was an unfortunate end to what had been an amazing show. It’s also not the first time that this has happened with these particular individuals. Between the rukus in the crowd and people getting up in the band’s collective faces, there was definitely a bit of an unsavoury atmosphere and this was reflected when the band stopped playing during the fracas at the front/at the door. Still, these things happen and it shouldn’t be allowed to tarnish the night as a whole, even if it did take the shine off things a little bit.

After the show was over, we spent some time catching up with our friends Ryan Weber of Spanish Gamble / Boneshakers fame who was doing merch on the tour and Adam Bilboa who was driving. I acquired the new Nothington / Paper Arms 7″ which is a little cracker released on Cargo Records in Europe and features a particularly amusing answering machine message from a certain Ryan Young of Off With Their Heads. I also managed to blag a shirt with the last of the money in my pocket before we packed up and hit the road. It was good to see so many people venturing out late on a Sunday, even if more than half of the crowd were Dundee cowpunks. Thanks to Raph for putting the show together. Raph, under his Turtle Lamone guise, is touring the UK next month and is also putting on some killer shows across the summer, the next of which being Spoonboy with Delay, Martha, Joe Listen and Turtle Lamone (record release show!) on June 5th. All in, this was a great show with a fair few talking points and, while perhaps not the greatest display of togetherness and unity our little scene has ever exhibited, it’s good to know that there are still some things that can stoke the fires of passion and discontent; something to which Nothington are pretty much the perfect soundtrack.