MORNING GLORY – REVIEW
Anarchistic Undertones are without doubt Manchester’s premiere Punk promoters. The same team that’s behind the legendary, biannual Punx Inna Jungle, an all day event that brings the best of the Punk and bass music scenes together under one roof, these guys know how to put on a party. Combine this with the Antwerp Mansion, a South Manchester venue that could have been designed for this kind of affair with its rough and ready style (visually speaking part European squat, part graf spot, part community centre), the place screams grimy but is actually incredibly warm and friendly; and you know the night will be a stonker.
Aside from Morning Glory who are on their very first European tour, the line-up for this gig sported some of the finest UK bands, running the gamut of punk persuasions, from Hardcore to Ska. The first on were Wigan based Gunpowder Plot, a fast, heavy, three piece outfit. Tearing into their first tune you immediately got the impression that this band is very much a product of their environment, a very northern, very working class town. From the bouncy ’Punks Don’t Like Football’, a no-nonsense but tongue in cheek pop at scenesters, to the three-chords-and-a-snarl anger of ‘The Editor’ which deals with propaganda in the media, they are tight and engaging from start to finish; most definately a band to watch. Next on were Derbyshire boys, Epic Problem. A multi-generational powerhouse, with tonnes of stage presence, these guys ripped up the stage with their straight-up street punk. Chugging guitar, vocals like buzz saws and a shit-load of swagger, ‘Choke’, the lead track off of their recent EP release ‘All Broken’ on Pumpkin Records, was a particular highlight.
Wadeye are an experience to see live. With a trumpet player, the occasional digeridoo and a barely human lead singer who looks a bit like a punk version of Uncle Fester from The Adams Family; these guys are named after an outback town in Australia where the local Aboriginal gangs take their monikers from heavy metal bands… seriously. If you’re not already interested then there’s something wrong with you. Fucking nuts is a pretty good description but with their solid, heavy, yet intricate sound, screaming brass lines and killer riffs, they are actually already a very accomplished band and with their local boy charm, they had the partisan crowd eating out of their hands and having it large. These guys manage to whore their way onto every line-up going so I assure you, you’ll see them soon enough. In the mean time, look out for their debut EP which will be dropping very shortly.
Milton Keynes isn’t exactly the most punk rock place on Earth, in fact, as I understand it, just living there is the death of hope. This complete abortion of baby-boomer town planning has however managed to produce a totally sick band. Anti Vigilante look as though they’ve come for your children and what they don’t fuck, they’re gonna eat. As menacing as they are unhinged, their lead singer moves like some fool has fed amphetamines to a mutant spider and they play killer, KILLER Ska-core. From the bass heavy ‘Go Outside And Play’ with its pounding drums to the funkier “400 Species Can’t Be Wrong” where the vocals vere from almost hip-hop to a growl and the Sax, haunting and reminiscent of The Specials, walks in before everything explodes into madness in the final third; this is a consumate band capable not only of holding the stage, but pinning it against the wall with one hand and kicking its teeth down its throat. Go and see these guys.
With members from bands including Choking Victim, Leftover Crack, INDK and Nausea, Morning Glory certainly have the pedigree to be the main event and to be honest, it’s not every day that you get to see a band with musicians you’ve listened to for the best part of ten years; so when the headliners took to the stage, it was a pretty special thing. Within two seconds of the beginning of ‘So Ya Wanna Be A Cop’, their opening track, the crowd exploded; bodies and beer flying through the air. Although Morning Glory have an album ‘Poets Were My Heroes’, out on Fat Wreck Chords their set kept plenty of old favorites and by the chorus of ‘Gang Control’ people were being knocked down and scooped up all over the place, the front two thirds of the crowd was a pit and Ezra was down on his knees, leaning into the front row to share the mic with those who were shouting the lyrics back into his face.
It’s interesting to see how the newer, more melodic and anthemic turn in Ezra’s songwriting, on songs like ‘Born To December’ sits alongside the dirtier tracks like ‘Gimme Heroin’, but they do, well. Its the mark of a great band when the sound evolves without loosing track of its roots or jarring against their back catalogue and Morning Glory are certainly able to keep their bases covered in this respect. Although some of the on-stage banter didn’t go down too well with a crowd comprised of half-cut, northern, crust punks, when tunes like ‘The Whole World’s Watching’ and ‘Urban Tribes’ are blasting, no cares, everyone dances. It’s a shame that it’ll probably be a while before these guys grace out shores again so if you have a chance to catch them on this tour, I suggest you get on it and get a ticket. We here at JAM cannot get enough and will be picking up a copy of ‘Poets Were My Heroes’ as soon as is humanly possible. Long live Morning Glory!
Words & Images: Benjamin Paul