Wonk Unit/Greazy Ratz/Trigger McPoopshute - Pontypool, The Dragonffli - 18th May 2015 Print E-mail
Written by Johnny H   
Thursday, 28 May 2015 03:00

Wonk final 2


Tonight is my first time back at this venue since it has changed its owners and its name (you may remember it as The Hog & Hosper in a previous life), and I’m pleased to say that a newly extended main entrance and the stage having moved to the back room aside, not a lot else has changed at this most excellent of music pubs. One thing that’s missing tonight from the old Hog days though is the group of local mentalists who seemed to turn up to all the “out of the ordinary” shows at the venue, and to be honest I’m not sure if that is a good or bad thing, because as you will soon find out with tonight’s opening band and their travelling entourage left to their own devices on the dancefloor things took an all new surreal twist as the night progressed without the need of any outside encouragement.


Before I get to all that though it was left to international touring band Trigger McPoopshute to actually play some music with the beer/cider/lager and rosé wine fuelled quartet ripping through a tight and laughter packed set as per the norm. Again I can’t help but comment on how much the quartet are not just about the laughs these days though with guitarist Dean Pratten in particular throwing some serious wah wah action into the mix making the likes of ‘Charity Snatch’ sound like Ron Asheton has just joined the band. Hitting their stride straight from opener ‘Hench’ (still my favourite song by the band coincidently) they really do pack a hefty punch, and if Motorhead did ever decide to write a song about Lemmy’s auntie shitting herself in M&S for their next album I still don’t reckon it would come anywhere near as fearsome as Trigger’s ‘Skid Marks & Spencers’. Now get that fucking debut album recorded and “let’s ‘ave it!!!”




I have to do a double take as Greazy Ratz hit the stage tonight, because I’m sure I saw their singer just seven days earlier sharing a stage with Charlie Harper as UK Subs tore through a superb version of ‘C.I.D’. Yup that’s him alright but here he’s strapped on a guitar and is fronting his very own punk rock covers band. Hmmm, I’m not one for covers bands personally as you may (or may not) know and for pretty much the next hour and a bit the Bridgend quartet proceed to play all the punk rock hits from my teenage years plus a few more slightly left of field numbers to a largely appreciative crowd. Knowing Wonk Unit are following these guys however, and knowing just how short sharp a shock we are all in for there is nothing Greazy Ratz can ever do that will ever match what is about to hit us like a giant council (pop) brick right between the eyes. In the right place I bet Greazy Ratz are a riotously fun experience, but tonight, for yours truly they are nothing but a minor distraction ahead of tonight’s main event.




With the hour almost reaching normal pub closing time, Wonk Unit’s singer Alex Johnson beckons everyone back into the live room for his band’s headline set, it is ‘Los Angeles’ from the band’s ‘Trolleys Thank You’ album that kicks off tonight’s madness, the track a tight and bruising melodious beast just like every other one of the fourteen or so others that will follow it. ‘Donkey Of The Damned’ (from ‘Muffy’) quickly follows as does ‘Nan’ (from the superb ‘Nervous Racehorse’ album) and already the set list I’d sneakily photographed to help me blag my way through the band’s quick-fire set is already out the bloody window, as Alex and Co once again take requests from the crowd making for an almost improvisational nature to their set.


It’s when the sonic knockout 1-2 of ‘Go Easy’ and ‘King’s Road Sporting Heroes’ give us a bloody lip and ringing in the ears that things start to take the aforementioned surreal twist as members of Trigger and their entourage start to dance “tops off” to the Unit’s new single ‘Je M'appelle Alex’ earning them an instant song dedication via the mighty ‘Muffy’ tune ‘Horses’. This just seems to set the gig alight though and as Alex takes to the floor to join the sweaty pink fleshed gang for ‘….Nagging Wife’ and ‘Elbows’ I’m mindful that the wannabe Euroboys might be heading in my direction to get me to join in their drunken shenanigans.




Thankfully ‘Rambo’ (from the band’s free ‘Littlelord’ EP) is on hand to save me, the rapid fire punk rock sounds making the maniacs surrounding me concentrate more on their appalling dancing rather than their hugging and then there’s just enough time for the last train to ‘Lewisham’ before ‘Pearly White Awkwardness’ brings the night to a stunningly almost Britpop conclusion.


Look we’ve shouted long and hard here on Uber Rock about just how amazing Wonk Unit are, and once again here tonight the guys reinforced their claim to being one of the most unique and exciting punk rock bands out there right now. Make sure you catch them when they return to headline the Friday night of Slugfest 8 on July 3rd 2015 at the Dollshouse Abertillery, because you will be a right fucking bellend if you miss them.


To pick up your copy of 'Nervous Racehorse' - CLICK HERE