.@LouellaDeville_ .@PlanetMosh review of .@dirtboxdisco and .@systemofhateuk at Polish Club, Barnsley
When I saw that Dirt Box Disco were playing my home-town for the first time it was an opportunity not to be missed. Although, never having been there before, despite being born in the hospital virtually across the road, I missed the Polish Club’s car park as I headed down Summer Lane, as it’s not obvious. Barnsley Polish Club is about a 10-15 minute walk from the ‘tarn’ centre and a 10 minute drive from the M1. As well as the car park there is plenty of on street parking nearby. The entrance to the club itself is on Blackburn Lane with picnic benches outside and a bar area inside, with a pool table and ample seating. The gigs are in room with painted black walls and a small stage at the front, there’s no seating but a handy ledge for drinks if you’re stood at the side. As I was driving I only had a glass of tap water. I’m a Barnsley lass, no point in paying for a bottle! I noticed they sold bottles of Trooper but I don’t what the prices were like. My water was free so I couldn’t complain, I was even offered ice! I don’t know how long Barnsley Polish Club has been in existence but many Poles were forced to leave their homes post WWII and settled in Barnsley so it could date back to then. It’s a decent small venue with a raised stage and the sound and lighting are good and it’s got great transport links.
Support for Dirt Box Disco came from local lads System of Hate who were formed by former members of Total Confusion, a band I saw supporting the Anti-Nowhere League a couple of years ago in Wakefield. A recorded countdown 10, 9, 8 etc announced their pending arrival on stage. Dave in sunglasses announced ‘We are System of Hate. Insanity‘ which was the opening song, not a reference to their state of mind. From my vantage point, at the side next to the wall, I couldn’t actually see much of Martin, former Danse Society drummer, on keyboards but they lent the song an apt flavour of Madness. Who Bleeds followed with the chorus ‘Who bleeds for the saviour’ After Infected Dave yelled what I thought was ‘Fuck You’ but I realised afterwards it was more likely to have been a ‘Thank you’
Killing Fields started with a recorded voice saying ‘I love the smell of napalm in the morning’ repeated several times. With some bullet fast drumming and the lighting on stage being red, most appropriate for killing fields! The well thought out recorded introductions to songs is something which reminds me of The Exploited and the sound in general reminded me of a cross between The Violent Femmes and The Exploited. I picked up an Add It Up vibe in several songs. Dogs of War started with a King Kurt’s Zulu Beat type drum beat. Dogs were a popular theme, I was just noting that one song sounded like The Stooges’ Wanna Be Your Dog and it turned out to be a decent punked up cover of the said song. Paddy dedicated the song Halos to someone special, Mary, who had been gone a year. A nice touch. Another recorded introduction and some good keyboards in this one. Before the last song No Government Dave said ‘Thanks to Bri Featherstone. This is for him and this is for all your’ which is Yorkshire speak for you ‘Everyone who hates a Tory’ This one reminded me a little of tonight’s head-liners Dirt Box Disco. System of Hate had played a good set and got everyone warmed up ready for the Disco to follow. The set ended with an air siren as if to say ‘Take cover or see Dirt Box Disco!
Am I Evil
Ashes of Divinity
Dogs of War
Wanna Be Your Dog
Tears of Blood
Paddy O’Neill – Bass / Patrick Crawford – Guitar / Dave Sutcliffe – Vocals / Carl Gulliford – Drums / Martin Roberts – Keyboards
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/systemofhate
It was a four piece Dirt Box Disco who took to the stage in Barnsley this evening as, the giant smurf known as, Danny Fingers is still out of action. Which left the man in the woollen mask to take on double the fingering role tonight! What would the local mining stock make of four men, two in wigs, wearing enough make up to keep Sally’s on Barnsley Market in business for years! I was about to find out! Spunk enquired ‘How are we doing Barnsley? Are we up for some fucking singing? You know I like good singing!’ and Dirt Box Disco’s first gig in Barnsley began with Other Side of the Street with Weab jumping around like a madman on speed and ending with him announcing ‘Fuck Me! It’s good to be here’ The next song was the appropriately named Burning and a ‘Fuck off we’re fat and it’s hot’ from Weab to which Spunk replied ‘Bit Premature that song’ and Weab’s ‘Heard that about Barnsley men!’ so not only were we getting a Punk rock show but some stand up comedy thrown in too.
For a small venue the Polish Club had some decent lighting and the next song Tragic Roundabout was accompanied by some colourful rainbow lighting giving it a magical effect! Spunk dedicated Peepshow to Stuart Hall, Rolf Harris and Jimmy Saville. (I have it on good authority that Jimmy Saville tried to put his hand up my, then fourteen year old, Aunt’s skirt when he opened Asda at New Lodge but that’s another story and I’m sure if he tried anything more she would have given him a Barnsley Chop!) I don’t know which gassy drink the band were on but there was plenty of hot air on that stage and Weab emitted a spectacular burp before announcing ‘Here’s one off the new album. Hope you’ve got it’ before Standing in a Queue which Spunk advised us was about seeing a gorgeous lady, when you’re stood in a queue but not having the nuts to go and speak to her. A catchy song from their latest album Bloonz which saw Weab skipping with the mic cable and Spunk playing some great riffs!
Weab must be living The Good Life because according to him ‘This song is a complete fucking lie! It’s called My Life is Shit’ and, even if you haven’t heard it before, you can soon pick up and join in with the chorus. Half way through the song Spunk yelled ‘Sing it for me Barnsley’ and we did! Afterwards Weab said ‘It’s really good to play somewhere where people are singing loud. This one’s called I Just Wanna Be a Girl and also went on to say that he could see some in the crowd, with a bishop and a velvet purse who, when bored, would stick it in themselves. Weab has such a lovely turn of phrase and Spunk apparently wants to be a girl with massive tits! He just needs to get a Wonderbra, or the equivalent, from one of the shops in the Alhambra!
When a sweaty Spunk said ‘I bet there’s no one here as hot as me’ he didn’t get much sympathy from an equally sweaty Weab who quick as a flash replied ‘You chose to wear the balaclava! Cunt!’ and told us he wasn’t wearing it because he was beautiful. I reckon he looks just like Johnny Depp under that balaclava although I suspect my imagination is working overdrive and he’s really more Johnny Vegas!
Three more classics Smackhead, I am Rock n Roll and What You Gonna Do About It followed before Weab announced ‘We’ve got one song left’ then said ‘Not really, just wanted to hear you boo’ as he liked being the pantomime villain, even though he looks more like a deranged circus clown! He even confided that, when the band had been told they were to play Barnsley, they thought ‘Fuck no! It’s even further North than Sheffield, but they were glad they had made the trip up. Another one from the album Bloonz came next in King of the Castle which had Weab dancing and Spunk strumming his raw and energetic riffs! With the last words fittingly being ‘I don’t wanna grow up’ as they were followed by a loud burp and ‘Ta’ from Weab. Spunk then asked ‘Does anyone want to come up and neck with Dolly’ indicating the doll adorning his microphone stand, then stuck out and waggled his tongue through the mouth hole in his balaclava! Weab told him not to invite the commoners up on stage (must have been referring to those who had travelled from Worsbrough Common!). Then looked at Spunk and said ‘Fuck! He means business he’s tuning up’ being slightly off key only adds to the raw ambience of Dirt Box Disco’s dirty blend of Punk, but no harm in tuning up! Next came Going Out Tonight with it’s great drumbeat and some finely tuned riffs. Then Weab said ‘Plenty of sexy ladies here. I like it, but I Don’t Wanna Go Out With You’ and a headshake heralded the next song.
Nearing the end now came a couple of short bursts of Boney M’s Rivers of Babylon and Brown Girl in the Ring and Barnsley’s Punk community were singing along loudly which led to Weab saying ‘It proves it! Barnsley are more fucking nuts than we are! Love it!’ and then Barnsley got fucking wasted! Then, alas, Weab announced that it really was the last song this time and asked us ‘Please can you give a big hand to that fucking bastard’ pointing at Spunk ‘Who’s had to learn two guitar parts in a week’ Spunk interjected with ‘I was meant to learn but I didn’t’ It was like a mini Oscars thank you speech, as Weab went on to say ‘thanks for coming out. Our first time in Barnsley and it’s been fucking amazing! We’re going to ask you to sing your hearts out to Dirt Box Day’ and Barnsley did indeed sing their hearts out. With a ‘You guys have been incredible. See ya’ Dirt Box Disco exited the stage to shouts for more and chants of ‘Hurray! Hurray! It’s Dirt Box Day’ Then Monty Python’s Always Look on the Bright Side of Life came through the speakers and everyone was singing along. It was definitely a very appropriate choice as Dirt Box Disco usually add a fun, comic element to their shows and tonight had been no exception. The DJ yelled ‘Come on Barnsley shout for more if you want some more’ and we did, so at last the band came back on stage.
Weab invited the audience to pick which song they wanted to hear again. A girl yelled ‘My Life is Shit’ and the last song was chosen. Weab said ‘Let those bastards in Sheffield hear you!’ and whilst My life is Shit ended the show, the show was far from shit! Weab’s final words were ‘Thank you so much we’ll see you again’ It may have been a little further up the M1 then they are used to but, they came, they saw and they conquered! After the reception they got I’m sure it won’t be long before Barnsley invites Dirt Box Disco to ‘(Let’s) Get (Fucking) Wasted’ with them again!
Other Side of the Street
Standing in a Queue
My Life is Shit
I Just Wanna Be a Girl
I am Rock n Roll
What You Gonna Do About It
King of the Castle
Going Out Tonight
I Don’t Wanna Go Out With You
Let’s Get Wasted
Dirt Box Day
Encore, as chosen – My Life Is Shit
Weab.I.Am – Vocals / Spunk Volcano – Guitar / Maff – Drums / Deadbeatz – Bass
Danny Fingers – Guitar (unfortunately not able to play tonight)
Both bands and Spunk’s other venture ‘Spunk Volcano and the Eruptions’ will be playing at Rebellion annual punk festival in Blackpool.