Live at Joseph's Well on Monday, 4th December 2000
This was to be the first date of a weeklong tour involving four of MoonSka's most recent signings. It turned out to be a memorable evening, though not necessarily for all the right reasons.
UNCLE BRIAN led the way, or at least attempted to do so. Having lost the services of vocalist/guitarist Rob the previous evening, they managed 15 minutes of improvisation which wouldn't have been out of place on Clive Anderson's "Who's line is it anyway?". After a failed attempt at Shania Twain's "That don't impress me much" singer Dan tried to recover some benefit from the evening's shenanigans declaring "Uncle Brian albums and T-shirts available.... anyone interested?" Only for an amused audience member to pipe up "stick yer album on and mime!" The three remaining band members looked at each other seemingly shocked at their failure to think of this before. Despite being up the creek without a paddle (or maybe even a boat) Uncle Brian managed to keep the audience amused, and rescued some credibility with Shootin' Goon singer James helping out with a cover of Vengaboys classic "We're going to Ibiza". Boh! Rating...............BOH!
Next up were SHOOTIN' GOON, a brassy six piece very much in the same mould as Lubby Nugget, though not in the same league. Singer James recovered from his loan spell with Uncle Brian to lead them into a bouncy, energetic set that also saw the first dancing of the evening. The pint sized trumpeter lead the two piece brass section with some very catchy lines, but the set didn't really get off the ground until the final song YMCA ("we play it because everyone knows it") which was an excellent cover which saw the audience acting against their better judgement and joining in the well documented dance movements to the disco classic. Boh! Rating..................BOH! BOH! BOH!
The third act of the evening were quite simply f*^#ing ace! ZEN BASEBALLBAT took to the stage with a classic rude boy moon stomping image. Brass boots and braces. Brilliant. None of their songs would have been out of place on a classic ska compilation, along side the likes of the Specials, Symarip, and the Maytals etc. The trumpet and trombone combined perfectly with the plodding bass line. The energy and enthusiasm shown by the whole band made this the highlight of the night for me. Songs such as "I am the Champion Concrete Mixer" inspired me to buy their album of the same name. Their opening words "No Professionals required" seemed out of place, as despite the chaos which seemed to be taking place on stage, they were one of the tightest bands I have ever seen live. Boh! Rating...............BOH! BOH! BOH! BOH! BOH!
And then we came to LUBBY NUGGET, who seemed to have attracted quite a following from their nearby hometown of Huddersfield. A seven piece of four years, their experience showed from the onset. Their opening song "A Visit from the Crack Fairy" allowed front man Kerry the freedom to get the crowd going, this he managed by cavorting round like a chimp on whizz whilst wearing a skeleton mask. To look at this band seemed to be all over the place, yet the tightness was excellent (the only problem being Colin's guitar feeding back which plagued him on and off throughout the set). Fresh from a recent appearance in Amsterdam and with a new tour beckoning, the band were quite simply on fire, the brass section in particular were firing on all cylinders and it'll be interesting to see if they can keep up their high energy set for a prolonged number of dates. Songs such as "Flesh Pimp", "Clatsbys Disco Diner" and "One Club City" make it easy to see why their recently released album "Subtle Crucial" has been doing so well. With such tight drums and bass combined with a massive brassy sound and Kerry's smooth vocals, Colin found the time to join the dancing masses for their final song, and didn't drop a note. Lubby Nugget seem to get better every time you see them. Boh! Rating...........BOH! BOH! BOH! BOH!
Four quid to see four excellent bands (and with a free compilation C.D. on entry) was nothing short of a bargain. The final two would have been worth it alone.