The Rumjacks @ Star & Garter
The Star And Garter hosts a night of punk rock which excites our writer!
Drunken Ramblings by Mick Birchall, Blunderbusting photos by Laura Piggford
The Drunken Ramblings
With only about 6 people in the room the punk rockers started their set. In all fairness more people come in through the set. The Drunken Ramblings almost immediately hit their stride. They had an intense energy about them and they played real old school punk. With fast bass lines, heavy beats and growling guitars, they brought the Manchester crowd to life and got people dancing. They had some killer songs and they blasted through their set, I loved when they said they were going to play a slow song and then burst into more heavy punk. They had great chemistry and constantly bantered with the crowd, and with each other. Even if the early comers to the gig were a little unresponsive to them. I still enjoyed it. The Star and Garter felt like the perfect place for them and the looked right at home in the small bar. Then again, most punk sounds better in smaller venues. I genuinely had fun listening to them, they just had an awesome personality about them everything was inviting and the songs were fantastic. So much so that I ended up buying their EP ‘Fates’. Genuinely a great opening set, really got me ready for the night to come.
An explosion of amazing music came from the speakers and I instantly fell in love with the sound of, Blunderbuster. All of the elements that enjoy in folk-punk were their and add in the fact that both the band and the crowd went all out insane, it just made for a great night. I don’t usually get in the pit when I review a gig but I couldn't help myself here, the atmosphere was just infectious and Blunderbuster’s music just spread the atmosphere of hype to every single person in the venue. It was really hard to come away from this set without a smile, they were just so much fun. Their music was your traditional folk-punk but with more emphasis on the punk aspect. The sheer intensity of the set just got you pumped and the folk elements just took a bit of the harshness off of the raw punk sound, it was absolutely wonderful to hear. I would really love to see this band again live, there was just so much fun to be had with their set. If you have the chance to catch them live, do not pass it up.
The Rumjacks are one of my absolute favourite bands and have been ever since I heard the first album ‘Gangs of New Holland’. Now I have finally had the chance to see them live I can safely say, that they are brilliant live. Let me go into why. Opening on the catchy tunes ‘Plenty’ and ‘Barred for Life’ the Aussie folk rocks sent the crowd into an absolute frenzy. This was just one of the most fun crowds I've been in. Everyone was dancing and singing along to tune and The Rumjacks just built on that energy and and gave the crowd a stronger set with every song. There was a little trouble with the sound at first as the bass was turned up a little too much, washing out the sound a bit. However, once that was sorted the set moved on and kept getting better.
Frontman, Frankie McLaughlin was a really entertaining site, be it playing the guitar or the tin whistle it was hard to take your eyes off of him. He built a great rapport with the Manchester crowd and he seemed genuinely humbled by them at the same time. The band powered on through the set playing a lot of the big hits such as ‘Sober & Godless’, ‘Uncle Tommy’ and ‘The Leaky Tub’ all getting amazing reactions. The venue was getting nice and sweaty at this point and the crowd was getting a little tired, not enough to slow them down when The Rumjacks played the smash hit ‘An Irish Pub Song’, which got the biggest sing along of the night as they chanted the tin whistle part of the song along with Frankie. Everything came together for them on the night and you can tell that the band had an amazing time as well. All I can say is that I'm looking forward to their next UK tour.