SOUP  | 26th May, 2022 | Surfbort + Support

 SOUP  | 26th May, 2022 | Surfbort + Support

I was going to turn my notes into an actual article, but then I thought I’ll just James Joyce, share my notes instead, and call it my ‘stream of consciousness’ review of Surfbort + support. Enjoy!

Pre-Gig

First song heard: ‘Lot Lizard 93’.

Thoughts: simple, normal, punk. 

Price for a pint: £5.60. Brooklyn Lager. Not bad. But not the cheapest. (Criminal).

Surfbort – punk band, US, going to be a ‘heavy night’. Definite punk vibes… People milling around circa 19:45, waiting for the support. Definitely dressed in the wrong colours, but that’s okay. Questions also asked: ‘what’s your cheapest pint?’ Now, that’s punk.

SOUP, or more commonly known, Soup Kitchen. Interesting venue. Suits the grungy vibes that you would expect. 

Witch Fever, one of the main supports, seem to have BFMV vibes. Certainly don’t feel ‘punk’ as I know it. Johnny Rotten is more what I’m expecting. 

Starting to fill up at around 19:55. Seems decent for less than 30 behind doors. Reckon 400/500 could fit in if cramped.

Curious as to whether we’ll hear any Condom With No Cum tracks. What a name for an album. 

Surfbort

Slab Rash

First act: White Stripes on Meth 

Not really a punk fan, but when I think punk I imagine Sex Pistols. Though, and possibly rather naively, I also consider post-punk icon Ian Curtis, my boilerplate representative of the genre. Am I now, 30 years after Madchester demised, breaking my ‘punk virginity’? Well, maybe not – lingering around the bar pre-gig, patrons order Gin & Tonics as less of a ‘fuck the system’ and more ‘fuck the working class’. Was punk getting soft? Or am I too hard?

Or possibly, my perspective of what punk is, less brutish folk and more brutish towards the system, has skewed my pre-gig experience. Truly, I walked into here expecting nutters. Though, the craziest of folk are those you don’t expect, right?

20:10 and still no first support. Is punk also fashionably late? I’m confused. Is punk so anti-establishment it comes on late, or is being fashionably late considered ‘establishment?’. These, I imagine, are questions for another day.

Dog collars. Black hoodies. Awkwardness. All in the air tonight. There is misfit nature about punk that I’m curious about. People, seem, vanilla. Heavy metal fans are also the same kind of meek post-gig – but at least they look tough pre-gig. From experience, there is often an antithesis between rock ‘n’ roll’s appearance and their general attitude; I’m at least hoping punk delivers the same animosity as metal. Maybe, like a crème brûlée, we need to crack through the tough surface before hitting the underbelly of rage. 

But I’ve never been to a punk gig before, so I know not what to expect. Still, I’m lingering at the back.

20:15 and we’re off. Feels like punk. Sounds like punk. Garish. Loud. Drummer vocalist. Single guitarist. Very angry. But ends with a ‘hi guys’.

‘Monotonous wasteland between working and weekend’. Seems quite punk to me. ‘Loop holes and data’. Unsure of the message. An Ian Curtis-inspired t-shirt removal comes by the second song. What’s next? A simple ‘thanks’ after an unleashing of societal frustration. 

Third song in and it’s all somewhat sounding the same to me. It’s not… bad. It’s the genre I guess. A lot of the first support act’s songs seem related to the tiresomeness of working life. I mean, we all hate our bosses, but not all of us write songs about them. Lyrics like ‘waiting for the day to end, so you can go home’. We all hate work. Not much new there.

Is punk a bit… dull?

I respect the craft. But for me, it makes my ears hurt.

Either way, decent support.

Second support: Witch Fever

Christen Stewart lookalike on guitar.

Surprised, and in a way humbled, by their initial performance. They rock. Linkin Park vibes. Rage Against the Machine. Feeling their anger. But respecting their skill. Four very competent, tight, musicians.

‘Bully Boy’. ” How the patriarchy fucking sucks.” Well, they do hate the patriarchy, that is clear. Four dominant women on stage. Nobody is fucking with them. Brilliant build up. Electrifying ending. 

Joining the crowd during their final effort, Witch Fever truly connect with the crowd. A truly impressive effort from the main support. One to watch I’m sure. Manchester, born and bred.

Surfbort

On to the final act. Surfbort.

Bit older than I thought. Are they a comedy act? Satire? Who knows.

Interestingly, there is a disparity between Witch Fever and Surfbort. There is more in common with the first act than the third, which explains the welcome relief in the second. 

Punk with hooks. 

By the third act, punk finally revealed itself. Angry, angsty, passionate – raw. Finally I saw revellers, well, revelling in the moment. Mosh pits (?) releasing daily frustrations; anger shared with singer and punter alike. It was a relief to see punk being punk. Good for Surfbort. They brought it out of us eventually. 

Pitch invasions being a hot topic at the moment, it was interesting to see a stage invasion in front of my eyes. 

Common respect between artist and fan. They’re angry. But angry together. 

‘Killed by Food’, an interesting single. 

‘I Just Wanna Fly’ cover. Not bad.

Pretty drunk now.

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