Lagwagon / No Use For A Name / Strung Out / Swingin Utters

Sheffield Corporation

August 27 1998

Should I? Should I? Oh go on Dave, be controversial. Well, this was the FatWreckChords tour. Should it have been called the "We've got a metal album at home that we like but we're too proud to admit it so we'll pay homage by having oh so sincere little piss takes of metal in our set" tour. Ok, so that may not have fitted on the posters, and I'm sure the purists will want to lynch me, but it appears that I'm having a "wow, isn't so much modern punk so much like metal" month. So sue me. It's just my opinion.

But wow, this is what a crowd looks like in Sheffield. I thought they were extinct. I was really really surprised. There must've been a good few hundred here. I've never seen that in Sheffield. The place LOOKED busy. Shouldn't be surprised though should I, as FatWreckChords is a good name to drop.

And later I will introduce you to the slightly tenuous, and potentially incorrect if you're going to be really picky concept that this punk gig is linked to maths. Oh yeah.

But that's boring, and instead Swinging Utters are onstage as I get in. Their last album is a bit of alright, and, coincidentally, is the only album I own by any of the bands tonight, but the subtlties of it seem to get lost. At least to me. It was good, but I expected better. Could've been any number of bands really. Not deserving of the reputation they have on this showing.

Strung Out. I probably wasn't the only one who thought at least initially that their position with the Utters should've been reversed. But they bound onstage. More mayhem in their set, more melodic punk. More speed. And yeah, yeah, we get the piss take homage with a snippet of what I am pretty certain was Wasted Years by the Maiden. Man, if it is a pisstake all the time, I don't know. So many of these bands must feel so threatened by the link. That's the last three punk gigs that I've seen have ALL included a "metal moment". Why? They carry on with their thing, their metal influenced thing, and it's all pretty good in a, "it's the morning after and I don't remember a single on of their songs" way.

And so No Use For A Name. First song they started, well, I thought it was a distant cousin of Metallica, at least in the riff department. And we get a screaming little guitar solo in there as well. And the second song hits in with a decidely metally riff as well. Darius from the Utters comes on stage for a romp through The Pogues / Kirsty McColl Christmas standard, which is a classic, and which I've promptly forgotten the name of. It was fun, but the original can't be touched. Neither can Bob Marleys Redemption Song, which also gets an airing. Punk bands in we're actually very spiritual and influenced by Reggae shock. So is it a piss take of that genre then? Nah, same way the metal ones isn't really either. But sorry, you just don't try and do Bob Marley songs. It doesn't work. There are some which are untouchable, and Marley songs fall into that category. Couple more originals and they're off.

Maths time. Link. Well, it appears that at this gig, there is an exponential increase in the number of people that make it down to the front for each band that comes on. There, interesting "probably not entirely correct" fact for you.

Which finally brings us to Lagwagon. No metal from us, then we won't rust cometh the quote from the guitarist who really is too tall and should probably have his legs removed to make him a more normal height. Though he did go into some rather fetching lean back to back with the bassist moves. They went down well, a sizeable number of stage divers. Some good, some prats. It's always a good spectacle. Not so much fun if you're in the pit and they land on you, but if you don't want that, take a step back. Don't know the songs, they came and they went. It was like all of tonight really, a good gig, good sets by all the bands, fun and enjoyable. And you the faces change, but the style remains the same throughout all the bands. Largely interchangeable, there was nothing to set any of them out from all the other bands. So good fun, but to an extent, forgettable. Still think that Snuff are better, and I'm really begining to warm to Consumed, who are British of course, and also on FatWreckChords, and when they played attracted nothing like this size of crowd. Tell you something?