A mini festival of punk tribute bands gathered at Manchester club academy on Saturday night along with a massive crowd ready for a messy night ahead.

Manchesters own THE BUZZKOCKS absolutely nailed it, the band played a cracking set including hits EVER FALLEN IN LOVE, WHAT DO I GET and ORGASM ADDICT which they dedicated to the naughty girls at the front.

THE RAMONAS were high energy, full of attitude and so much more than a tribute band, I would definitely go to one of their full gigs as they play their own stuff too. Saturdays set included the hits BLITZKRIEG BOP, I WANNA BE SEDATED and SHEENA IS A PUNK ROCKER.

I was looking forward to seeing BOOTLEG BLONDIE and having a good sing-a-long but alas that didn’t happen. I only knew 4 tracks RIP HER TO SHREDS, (I’M ALWAYS TOUCHED BY YOUR) PRESENCE, DEAR, HEART OF GLASS and IN THE FLESH, not exactly the bangers I’d hoped for. Their singer had issues with lack of sound on the mic for the first few songs which didn’t go down well but as soon as it was sorted she sounded quite good, definitely had DEBBIE HARRYS vibe down to a tee.

Unfortunately the crowd didn’t take too well to the constant story telling inbetween songs (which they didn’t know anyway) and the band were eventually booed after every song. I’d say most people were very dissatisfied by this performance and it’s such a shame because the band played really well, just a poor choice of songs for a festival.

All was forgotten anyway as soon as THE PISTOLS emerged on stage, so good I swear some of the audience actually thought it was the real band and got a tad star-struck. To be fair Johnny Rotten and Sid Vicious were very convincing, even taking the mick out of ‘the mancs’ for being unable to pronounce c**t properly. There were definitely some original punks in the crowd too and I moved slightly away from the mosh pit as I feared my face may end up making friends with the floor.

There had to be plenty of stiff necks and bad backs happening the day after because this crowd immersed themselves in the era and threw themselves about like they were still 17. I got a beer shower, I’ve had worse though, I think the front row got a Sid spit beer shower quite a few times too. The hits were a plenty, GOD SAVE THE QUEEN, ANARCHY IN THE UK, PRETTY VACANT and after a choice between FRIGGIN IN THE RIGGIN and MY WAY, the crowd (maybe) chose MY WAY and SID came back on stage in his white suit and totally rocked the hell out of it to bring a mostly fun and entertaining night of punk to an end.

Words and Photos by Joanne Marsland


Philip Goddard

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