Howards Alias – Sheffield Corporation

By paul

Who would be a fucking promoter? While 170 kids packed into the Corp and had 8 bands rock their socks off, myself and Ross had several heart attacks trying to put it all together. Not only do you have to get eight bands from across the country in the same room, you have to get the appropriate equipment and then get people to come. It’s not quite as easy as it sounds and it becomes infinitely harder when the M1 becomes an arse…y’see what most of you don’t actually know is that the majority of the equipment didn’t arrive until 15 minutes before doors opened. Again, not doing my ticker any good but I think we can safely say that it was worth it in the end. Best bash yet? Hell yeah…

When I first saw SIX FOOT NOTHING I was appalled. Yes Ross is a mate, but c’mon, not even he could be serious about his band. Six months down the line and expectations are not that high. As Dronfield’s finest walk on stage resplendent in women’s clothing and Ross introduces himself as Courtney Love, it not only lightens the mood but welcomes in a new 6FN – a 6FN that can actually play. It’s still a way off being anything shattering, but there are elements there that show the band, with a bit of work, may actually get somewhere. Compare PB2 with PB3 and you’d think they were two different bands – shows what hard work does for you… (7)

Due to a last minute change around MY FAVOURITE CO-PILOT are next on and they grab the Corp by the throat and proceed to ram their own brand of ‘screamo’ (I fucking despise that genre, sorry John…) down your throat. Half the Corp is shell-shocked that John, despite being about 5’8″, actually sounds like he’s being violently murdered and Ian’s riffs pound across the room. For many it’s their first MFCP experience and it won’t be their last. ‘Kiss Me I’m Bleeding’ and ‘Everything’ are ferocious and the newie aired shows that they won’t relent with the aggression, with all three new songs on the EP even harsher, yet just as melodic, as the ‘South Drive’ record. Potentially one of the UK’s best bands, if they were American they’d be signed to a big label and touted as the next big thing. Selfish I know, but for now I’m glad they’re still one of the UK’s best kept secrets. (8.5)

The award for tightest band of the day (as well as oldest) goes to Scunthorpe pop-punks ONE CAR PILE-UP. With a guitarist who literally stepped into the building 10 minutes before hitting the stage, they blast track after track of melodic punk rock out to a good reception. Tighter than a badger’s bum they really impressed me, even though I was sat at the door for the entire set. Not knowing song titles you’ll have to excuse the lack of specific high points, but their cover of ‘Torn’ is first class. I for one will be sure to check them out again sooner rather than later. (8.25)

I’m still stuck on the door when THE KILLEREST EXPRESSION hit the stage, but at least I can see and hear them. And I’m fucking glad I can, a band that again may be old enough to father some of the kids in the crowd but still, brilliant, brilliant stuff. Following on from OCP and MFCP was never an easy task but Killerest are easily up for the challenge. If I remember correctly ‘Sid’s Song’ sounded phenomenal, but then the whole of their last EP is fantastic anyway so to be honest it wasn’t a shock to have them on form. My worry is putting on a Bash where the bands don’t enjoy it – thankfully Killerest have smiles aplenty and this rubs off on a few of the kids at the front who start to loosen up. They’re playing PB4 too and I’m buggered if I’m not down the front this time… (8)

Freed from the shackles of pocketing the entrance cash I have a wander down to chat with Mark IATDE and the Killerest boys and so miss the entire MYBE set. Word from the kids is that they were as entertaining as usual and with a healthy local support in tow tonight things are definitely looking good for them. Speaking of looking up, this time next year JERRY-BUILT will be the biggest band in the UK. Fuck your Funeral For A Friends, this is the band that are set for world domination. I’ve seen JB a few times now and always thought they were excellent, but Christ are they good tonight! Andy and Tim have always been a great front pairing and with Tall Dave’s stage presence you’re always onto a winner, but there’s something tonight which sets them apart from every other performance. ‘A is B’ and ‘Patience’ sound enormous and the new songs are just as good, if not better, than the tracks on the EP. Not even an interlude of dancing from Damion Killerest (clad only in boxer shorts which were quickly removed by Ben and Gav) can stop them. Another example of the fact that if they were American they’d be playing arenas right now, at least I’m safe in the knowledge that they’ll be doing that very soon anyway. This time next year I won’t be able to afford to put them on at a Bash, catch ’em quick. Best set ever at a Punktastic Bash? Oh yes… (10)

I always had a soft spot for ROUTE 215 when they were cheeky young scamps singing about tattooed penises, but as soon as I heard ‘GTT’ and the other demos of the new songs I fell in love with them. Having got the new record it’s inevitable that they will be propelled from pop-punk comedy Kings to the Premier Division and their live performances are so much better as a five piece than as a trio. PB3 isn’t their best gig ever but energy wise they’re on the button. Rod is a fantastic frontman and when everything goes off Route 215 are unstoppable. ‘Echo’, ‘Amy’ and ‘Push Me’ are all awesome songs and even though there’s no ‘Stuck With You’ and sound problems aplenty throughout, you can’t help but like them. Rod asked me to get up onstage before the gig and sing with him but I bottled it, but next time I’m at a R215 gig I’m up there to sing backing to ‘Steal Your Soul’. Super nice guys with a great record behind them, again catch ’em before someone in the know hears them and takes them from our grasp… (8)

I’m not a big ska fan I have to say and the number of UK ska bands that I like can probably be counted on one hand. Infact the bands that I do like are the hybrid types that don’t stick to the tried and tested pattern and like to do something different. HOWARDS ALIAS fit into that category and are fucking brilliant and it was an honour they agreed to headline. Not an easy task after so many great performances but they pull it off in style. Frontman Matt has a great voice while everything else around him is extremely tight. Drummer Jev throws out a few drum patterns which keep things interesting, while one-man brass section Nick performs admirably. There are kids going off at the front and plenty of people skanking and singing along, always a good sign. ‘Rob Wants You Dead’ is a predictable crowd pleaser but to be honest there wasn’t one bad moment of a thoroughly enjoyable set. They’re co-headlining with NoComply in August and you’d be a fool to miss out. (9)

At 5.30pm my blood pressure was set at overload. At 10.30pm, with smiles all around and not one single complaint, I could finally relax. The biggest Bash yet was even better than PB2 even if it was infinitely more stressful. Thanks must go to every single person who helped spread the word, flyered, came and supported the night and to all the bands and all of their supporters…and we’ll see you in 6 weeks time for PB4.