Milk2Sugars – Sheffield Corporation

By paul

Who would have thought it a year ago? A little, then unknown website started and somehow it’s become a daily part of quite a few people’s lives. Strange really, but that’s what music does to some people. Punktastic has become far, far bigger than any of us could ever have imagined when we went online in November 2001 – we’ve met some fantastic bands, made some great new friends and helped get some people the respect they deserve. So what better way than to organise a piss up for our first birthday? Get together four of the bands that whore themselves out on the messageboards, add in Ross Punktastic’s outfit and then the newest band to the Punktastic ‘family’ and you have the ingredients for a night to remember. And as the 70 or so of you who turned up know it was definitely a night to remember. Unless of course you drank far too much and can’t remember. In which case you’re buggered.

Anyway, a cock up with the opening of the doors and general onstage times meant that I missed openers SIX FOOT NOTHING, otherwise known as the Ross Brierley comedy club. Arriving just as they finished, I’m told that SFN were good. “He should be in stand up,” more than one person told me. I’m not sure if that’s because his band are shit and they should give up their day jobs, or whether their brand of humour was actually quite good. I tend to think it was the latter. Anyway, unmarkable because I didn’t see them, so I’m sure a kind soul will fill in all the details in the reader’s reviews.

Scunthorpe’s premier pop-punk outfit TOMORROW NEVER CAME rocked our collective socks off when we saw them at a local battle-of-the-bands and just as we were to ask them to get involved with Punktastic, they asked us to get them on the bill. So here they were for everyone to enjoy. A mix of The Starting Line and The Ataris, for young pups they have a mature sound and some fantastic songs. ‘It’s All Gone’ is a hit in waiting with a really poppy hook negating an emo-esque feel. However, for some reason tonight the band lack a stage presence which would carry them off into a real band-to-watch. Having seen them twice before I know full well how good TNC are, but the Corp didn’t quite get the full shebang. Maybe it was nerves, but there’s a little something missing. But don’t get me wrong TNC have songs that deserve, and will, be played to bigger audiences in bigger venues. All they need is a swagger and confidence to match their abilities. As musicians they are all brilliant and their songs belittle their relative inexperience, but they don’t quite have enough stage presence just yet. But when they do…oh my, a band that will make waves in the UK scene for sure. (7)

PORNOGRAPHIC MONKEY are let down a little on record because their sound is a little flat. The dynamics aren’t quite there and you just feel that there needs to be a little more something to make a good band into a great one. Tonight PM fix everything they needed to do and sound brilliant. Opening track ‘Propaganda’ is brutal, with guitarist Mark blasting out a riff that’s dark and dirty. Sounding all the better for it, PM rock hard tonight even though their set is a little on the short side. I for one am impressed with the improvements this Stoke mob have made since their EP was released, and with a new one set for recording in the New Year, Pornographic Monkey could well make waves too. (7)

I got slated by a lot of people when I gave SNIPER WOLF‘S last release just two stars out of five. But I said then that I thought they would be better live, and I was not mistaken. ‘Slick’ Nick is every inch the frontman and for just three people they carry a hell of a lot of stage presence. Running through most of their last EP, tonight Sniper Wolf impress me more than I thought they would. They still owe a lot to the likes of Screeching Weasel and The Ramones, but there’s energy in abundance – something the recorded material sadly lacks. Bassist Rob is a bundle of energy, even if his eyes seem to be on the verge of popping out of his head on more than one occasion. And for a band that haven’t practiced in months, Sniper Wolf perform admirably. ‘Wrath Of You’ and ‘Girl In The Purple Jumper’ are standouts and I’m left to eat humble pie. Give this band a producer and a recording studio and they could be dangerous. (8)

If MY AWESOME COMPILATION were American they’d be massive. Infact they’d probably be signed to Vagrant Records and be supporting The Get Up Kids or something. This Leicester trio are destined to be absolutely massive, of that there is no doubt at all. How they are still relatively small is mystery enough, but surely their new ‘Every Souvenir Has A Story’ EP will put paid to that. A mixture of pop, punk and emo, every song is carefully crafted and heart-wrenchingly fantastic. With a firm dollop of emotion in their music, all eyes are on the band as they perform. The dynamics twist and turn throughout and everyone is spellbound, knowing full well you’ve seen something very special indeed. Signed to the Big Scary Monsters label it can only be a matter of time before bigger labels come knocking at the door. If in a year MAC are not at least on major tours as a support it would be a travesty. They won 70 new fans tonight and to anyone who’s seen them you know it’s no surprise. Ladies and gentlemen – the UK’s finest emo band. (9)

Headliners MILK2SUGARS had a lot to live up to and nearly managed to pull it off. As fun as always, their set had the crowd skanking it up a treat. ‘Games’ is immense, ‘opener ‘Knocking Shop’ sure to be a live fave and Venus’ run through the now obligatory Sublime cover ‘Santeria’ goes down well. Little bits of the set are becoming a bit tired mind – mainly I think because I’ve seen the band about six times in two months – but every time I see them I’m impressed by the energy and sense of fun that the guys have onstage. It’s never a chore and the whole audience is always involved. By the end of the 40-minute set there’s quite a lot of people skanking away at the front (step forward the boys from MAC…) and closer ‘Washing Machine’ sparks off a dancing frenzy. Not the best M2S set I’ve seen, but their forthcoming debut album is certain to be something to keep an eye on. Bringing the fun back into the music, Milk2Sugars were the only band that could have headlined the inaugral Punktastic bash so succesfully. If you’ve not yet been initiated with the M2S experience catch them when you can. (8).

There was so much more I could have mentioned – Ross’ trousers, the failure of the surprise and the attempted theft of M2S bassist Dave, but there’s no room for everything. In terms of enjoyment, this has to get the full five stars. The beer flowed, the bands were all awesome and fun was had. Oh, and there was even a singalong ‘Happy Birthday’ to Punktastic. What more could you ask for? We’ll see you all (plus a few more hopefully) next year…