Live music - Basingstoke's Irish Centre, Saturday August 8 

IT was a little bit nerve-wracking to find the Gaelic football was still on as bands arrived and kit was set up.

So after a short delay, local boys Nickle9 took to the stage and filled the venue with some fairly brutal thrash.

Basingstoke Gazette:

By rights, they are far too good to be opening the show, but they had attracted a crowd of early supporters to ensure that things started with a bang. Of course with the windows shut when the music started, it started to get pretty warm, pretty quick.

The pace relaxed a little with another local band, Belle & the Bullets, who bring to the party some great musicianship, some cool bluesy-rock and a female singer.

Basingstoke Gazette:

They had also brought along a good posse of supporters of their own and played a very tight and entertaining set.

I think it also gave a chance for some of the rowdy members of the crowd to recover a bit.

The mid-way point was taken by Geezapunx who also returned a bit of manic insanity to the proceedings. A large crowd of the curious and the damned gathered in front to the stage to see if the old-timers could make it through their set without keeling over.

Basingstoke Gazette:

They gave a spirited, if imperfect performance, which was nevertheless appreciated by the crowd, who probably put in as much effort as the band.

Main support was provided by The Lurg, a Basingstoke/Tadley band who are one of the best live punk bands around at the moment. They too had a big following and pretty much from the off won over friend and stranger alike.

Basingstoke Gazette:

They have really catchy songs, well played with plenty of gang-vocals and some skilled delivery. They are also a little on the melodic side, which also helps to win the punters over and make for a damn fine performance.

The headliners were the amazing 2 Sick Monkeys from Swindon, who were last here about a year ago and are perennial favourites of the Basingstoke punx.

The bass-drum duo are legends in the punk world for the sheer number of gigs they play, as well as nice their are as people and talented as musicians.

They nailed it without a doubt and in spite of the oppressive and even better than that, the gig ended on time, regardless of the early hold-ups.

Thanks to all the bands who played and to the management and staff of the Irish Centre for once again hosting a brilliant night of music with attitude.

Neil Duncan, Issuepunkzine