Slugf3st (Day 2) - Abertillery, The Mount - 24th July 2010 Print E-mail
Written by Johnny H   
Saturday, 31 July 2010 05:00



Day two of this year's Slugfest and today's events have moved about a quarter of a mile up the same street to the site of the very first Slugfest, The Mount Pub.


This Über Röcker holds a special fondness in his black heart for The Mount, as it was the place where I first encountered live music at the tail end of the Seventies. I vividly remember standing outside the street level front door to this large multi floored Public House in torrential rain; my bag of Oxo flavoured Chipmunk crisps at the ready to keep me occupied whilst I awaited the arrival of local Welsh rockers Woman. Who would have thought that some thirty years on it would be playing host to an event so close to my own heart?

Today's line up of bands are not necessarily a million miles away from my first "Mounting" as it manages to pull together some of the best up and coming bands that South Wales can offer right now, but this year for the first time in Slugfest's short history the line up is pulling in a few English bands that have already heard the word. Making my way up to my old hometown things most definitely still look the same, and people I have known for most of my life are hurriedly pulling things together ready for lift off, such is the sense of community around this event that everyone involved makes it quite the unique show it is.

Kicking things off in the cellar bar, at 2PM ish then are Gallini lead by Über Röck's very own noise monger Darrel Sutton. As usual an unrecognisable version of Boney M's 'Ma Baker' gets things underway before the band rip ride through their illustrious back catalreview4ogue stopping off at recent single 'Satsuma' as well as a reworked version of the classic 'Driving Lesson'. Finishing off their set with a tribute to Frank Sidebottom by ruining Queen's 'We Will Rock You', Gallini were setting the bar at their usual low level.  Changing out of his Wednesday 13 fright wig in lightning fast fashion Sutton was immediately back playing bass for his all new project Trigger McPoopshute. Playing a set of songs dedicated to one man's passion for buggery, they also managed to drop in a few choice covers with the Ramones, Rancid and Gluecifer all getting a nod.

It is left to 100,000 Bodybags to get things off and running properly, and I have to admit watching their phased out acid punk in broad daylight was something of oddity. This is a band best served up through blankets of dry ice with minimalist lighting so with the weather outside totally tropical you can imagine where most people were. Not us though and the 30 odd minutes we spent in the company of Brewer and Co sped by like some acid tipped punk rock bullet. Their set culminating with a sight I wouldn't want to see again in a hurry, when Preview5ig, local punk legend and frontman of This System Kills dressed neck to balls in skin tight latex could be seen gyrating along to the band's frantic rhythms.... I am mentally scarred.

Next up, and significantly raising the performance levels were Ebbw Vale heavyweights Fell On Black Days. Once again reduced to a quartet for Slugfest due to guitarist Matt Hall's recent skateboarding accident, remaining members Gav, Mark, Shane and Shaun dipped into their 'Bring Out Your Dead' EP with riotous abandon. Heavy metal very much pumped up into overdrive. 'Tooth And Nail' saw the arrival of three small girls side stage as simple casual onlookers, the signs of visible distaste that were quickly descended across their faces would have made the FOBD guys proud to be part of such a short sharp shock therapy lesson in musical education. Expect big things from these guys, as they get ready to take their ferocious mix of all things great about old and new school metal to the wider UK touring circuit.

Perhaps the surprise package of the afternoon had to be the short sharp shock ofSatreview1 Guntys' folk infused set. The product of one too many nights pissed out of their heads, frontman Southy and banjo player Dean led their partners in grime through 20 odd minutes of Irish musical madness that had the whole place singing by the time 'The Wild Rover' brought things to a fitting close.

Dirty Valley Dudes were the guys kind enough to supply the backline for the day's proceedings, so their set of classic rock covers was always going to go down a treat with those in attendance. Listening to their take on ZZ Top's 'Gimme All Your Loving' did have me wondering just how my Über Röck colleagues were fairing at the weekend's other big event in London's Victoria Park, but that was soon over as the Dudes rode on into the night with their classic covers set leaving most with grins from ear to ear.

Catching Dead End from Porth for the first time, I have to admit I thought I'd just walked into a school band practice, the boys do not look old enough to be in this venue, never mind old enough to be referencing bands such as Kreator, Exodus and Vio-lence. But that's exactly what they do, and with some thrash metal premier league aplomb. The three piece are the hands down winners of the Über Röck award for windmilling at Slugf3st.

If the buzz surrounding Lifer's debut Slugfest performance with their all-new line up was anything to go by we were certainly in for something special tonight. But how could a band already streets ahead of their heavy metal contemporaries get any better? Well let's start with the latest addition s to their line up ex-Acrimony guitarist Lee and bassist Jason. These guys bring a much welcome shot of stagecraft to the Lifer mix that now makes them a truly brutal live experience. Add this into the existing melting pot of great metal anthems they have penned like 'Long Time Dead' and set closer 'Raging Waters' and you can just imagine the band, mid afternoon set at Castle Donington, slaying the main stage in the hazy sunshine. That is where this classic display of heavy metal deserves to be. Put simply Lifer are as tight as singer Scriv's bald ball bag if he'd been thrown into a freezing swimming pool.

With a name like 8.4% you just knew that the three oiks from the neighbouring valley were going to be mad for it tonight. Kicking off with a rebel rousing 'US Punks' this was the type of audience any band would love playing to. Up close and fucked up there's simply no escaping the charms of Smiffy, Pouls and Dix. With some technical issues with the backline's bass rig becoming an annoying distraction the lads maximised the downtime it provided them by simply dipping into the nearby free drinks barrel supplied for the bands like some alcoholic's Xmas bran tub. As ever closing their set with a crowd-pleasing rendition of 'Sonic Reducer' this is a band that does exactly what it says on the tin...8.4% proof of course.

Confession time, Über Röckers - when Johnny H disappeared to partake in some cottaging (allegedly) he assumed that I would fill his Chuck Taylors and review Red Riot. What he didn't take into account was that I would be cajoled into a nefarious punk rock plot by Obvious Wanker Wayne 'Pig' Cole. With nasty fetish gear stretched invitingly over his handsome frame, Pig convinced me to accompany him into the lounge of The Mount where, unbelievably, the regular Saturday night senior citizens sat quietly supping their ale while a scene from Mad Max played out all around them.

So, in we go, order up a couple of beverages and begin our faux interview concerning homophobia in the Welsh punk scene. Loudly. We get more than a few curious looks (maybe not the correct terminology to use given the subject matter) and think we are comedy mavericks. With dampened gussets we decide that our joke has run its course but, and this is the deal breaker, not before Pig 'accidentally' drops 20p on the floor and, when he bends down to pick it up, unleashes a severe scrotal sac spillage in the direction of the olds. As a flustered cry of "Oh my God" rings out we make our excuses and leave....before the paramedics arrive.

We get back into Slugfest central as Red Riot are well into their set - apologies all around. The band have a new bass player and appear to have an Oompa Loompa playing the drums for them. I've seen the boys a few times now and they never disappoint with their infectious brand of punk rock, just about managing to harness that obvious star quality that courses through them. They close their set with the day's second bout of Buzzcocks and few people would admit to not being entertained by these fellas. (Gaz E)

Completing the 1-2-3 of punk rock on tonight's line up were Newport's finest exponents of the genre, Bad Sam. With singer Beddis seen walking around the venue with a ginger ventriloquists dummy for around an hour or more before the band's set, you certainly got the feelinreview6g beforehand things were going to get ...umm slightly unhinged. And thankfully the boys from the 'Port didn't disappoint. Lyrically astute and musically direct, Bad Sam is the sound of four guys raising a middle finger to 'society' and laughing right in its face. With songs like 'Dicks With Dogs', 'Stab Vest' and 'Gold Tops' all delivered at breakneck speed it is impossible not to get engaged in the band's performance. OK this might also be largely due to self confessed trampette addict Beddis covering every millimetre of the venue's floor, twisting, turning and writhing to deliver his message, but his band also have some great songs in the shape of 'I Love The Port' and set closer 'Credit Crunch'. All that is left to ask is "which record label is actually going to be brave enough to sign these bad boys?"

So how could Slugf3st follow such a full on physically draining musical performance? Well when the next band on the bill was the Über Röck approved Scutty Neigbours the only way it could be followed was with a little bit of shit under the finger nails rock 'n' roll complete with some suitably OTT pyro. Kitted out in what the band termed 'sports gear', Rusty and crew set about winning over some new friends with such soon to be classics like 'Pig Aids' and 'I Wish Lemmy Was My Dad' as well as older cuts like 'DE45'and 'Beardy Motherfuckers'. Like the missing link between The Partridge Family and Gwar, Scutty Neighbours' forty-minute set was simply a joy to behold and, if you asked many in the room, it was also quite possibly most people's highlight of the day. If slotting in a cover of Skid Row's 'Youth Gone Wild' mid set saw the lads gain some unexpected kudos, then their encore (the first and only one of the day) of 'Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter' was truly inspired. Let's just thank the lord that no one decided to call in the Noise Police here tonight as they might just have had a riot on their hands....Inspired.

With fellow Bristol rockers Ghurkha and Rings Around Saturn having pulled out leading up to Slugf3st it was left to Disorder to represent the West Country and close the second day's proceedings.


With Johnny H already tucked up in his waterbed, it was satreview4left for me, Gaz E, to close out the day's events. With attendees dropping like flies Disorder have a tough task on their hands as they attempt to usurp the Scutty bandwagon. Celebrating their thirtieth year, the band, fronted by long-term bassist/vocalist Taf, litter their noisy set with songs from throughout their cult career, from the 'Perdition' era 'Suicide Children' right through to the title track of last album 'Kamikaze'. With what's left of the crowd going absolutely mental, the band appear to have mutated from a trio to a quartet.....that is until their activist stage invader is politely escorted out of the venue.

With an unnamed woman swinging a micstand around in a manner that would make Rod Stewart proud - that is until she takes out a strip light that showers shards of glass onto the sweaty dancers.....who don't even notice! - and Taf leaving the stage at regular periods to partake in the remaining dregs of homebrew (no disrespect but if free booze is still available some eight hours after it was offered up to the masses then no taste test is needed!) the set descends into a loose, chaotic mess. A perfect ending to an incredible day.

As Taf attempts to educate a bunch of Stryper obsessed cock rock fiends about how there is no such thing as a racist as humans are a species not a race, we say our goodbyes and head off into the warm early hours wondering how in the hell Sutton is ever going to top today.......