Sunday 25th June saw one of STP Records’ Sunday shows at the Star and Garter in Manchester. FACE UP! Syteria and CUT being the bands on today’s billing. These Sunday shows start at 5.30pm and are over by 9pm to give people chance to get home on a school night!
First up and it’s FACE UP! an aggressive hard hitting punk band from the West Midlands fronted by red haired Roxanne in black ripped stockings, part clean singing part growly vocals to complement the music. Roxanne came off stage to sing with the audience at the front of stage several times. A few guitar problems were blamed on WD40 but a change of guitar proved no better so the band played on, and the guitarist (there are two and I don’t know which one – sorry!) went back to the greasy guitar and joined in when he could. A few technical problems didn’t stop this band from getting the evening’s entertainment off to a good start.
Roxy – Vocals
Tom AK – Guitar
David H – Guitar
Gav B – Bass Guitar
Bez – Drums
Face Up Links:
Sirens and a robotic Darth Vader type voice heralded Syteria’s arrival on stage. I’ve seen some of their components seperately, Jackie Chambers in Girlschool and Keira Kenworthy when depping for Tequila Mockingbyrd so now it was time to see them assembled and making up vital parts in Syteria, who released debut album Rant-O-Bot at the end of May. Julia in a leather policeman’s cap, black and silver top. Keira in some fabulous patterned tights and Jackie in spray on Lycra. I couldn’t really see what Pablo had on his on his legs but he had a good view from his drumming stool as it was a great six legged beast at the front of the stage! Strong vocals with harmonious backing vocals reminded me of The Dirty Youth who in turn remind me of ELO, but Syteria have many facets with several different styles thrown into the mix I picked up some ska, some punk, some Reggae. Revolution with a bass start continued with a strong bass line. Julia was also on guitar for some songs but don’t ask me which ones as I can’t remember now! The set included a hard hitting cover of the Ramones’ Rockaway Beach. When Julia announced Hypocrite she asked could we say it back which a few people did but Jackie said there was not enough venom! Julia then said ‘Think of your boss or boyfriend/girlfriend’ I think that brought on some venom! When I Get Out of High School a heavier catchy song was great for singing along to. The set finished with New World Order which wasn’t a Ministry cover but a much faster, heavier song. Two bands down and all good so far!
Julia Vocal – Lead Vocals
Jax Chambers – Guitar
Keira Kenworthy – Bass Guitar
Pablo Calvo – Drums
I was then chatting to someone waiting for CUT to start, they started playing a song and I actually thought they were sound-checking hence carried on talking although I couldn’t prevent my foot tapping along. It wasn’t busy in the upstairs venue room at this point, as a lot of people had gone for an, in between bands, beer or smoke. However after some muted applause and the announcement of the next song I realised the gig was actually underway so the conversation stopped. CUT are a three piece punk band from Bologna, Italy with two six string guitarists/vocalists and one drummer but no bass guitar. Playing hard and fast feel good music Ferruccio and Carlo shared guitars and lead vocals although Ferruccio seemed to take the bigger ‘cut’ of the lead vocals share, say 70%/30% and he did the majority of the talking between songs. Whilst Carlo was the master of expressive face pulls with Gaetano on drums joining in now and again!
Ferruccio thanked Stu (Taylor) for inviting them over and thanked us for having them saying it was amazing to be playing here in Manchester. Along the way I picked up elements of The Damned, The Doors, Violent Femmes, The Strokes and White Stripes. Then Ferruccio asked us to come closer, he pointed out that they had come 2,800km around 2000 miles (that’s was he said, you do the maths!) so we could make the space, indicating the space in front of the stage, which was about 2 feet and people moved forward. A few strong men in the audience held Carlo aloft for one song, which he took the lead vocals for, before carrying him back to the stage then nearing the end nearly everyone in the audience did a Dirt Box Disco style stage invasion and you can see from the photographs just how much everyone was enjoying the show. I didn’t know anything about CUT before, other than that they were from Italy and I was hooked from that first song, sound-check or not! There’s just a real feel good vibe about the band and you can’t help smiling and dancing. They have been going 21 years but I think this tour was their first in the UK. Everyone I spoke to after the show had really enjoyed it. I hope they come back sooner than 21 years or I might not be around to see them! In fact they’re in Blackpool for a pre-Rebellion show on the 2nd August so I might just have to take a trip out!
Ferruccio Quercetti: guitar, vocals
Carlo Masu: guitar, vocals
Gaetano Maria di Giacinto: drums, percussion
Thanks to Steve Iles from IndigoBravo Promotions for the photos used to illustrate this review.
Next Show – Spunk Volcano!