Membranes All-Dayer 2019


Support Acts

Taking the opportunity to cover an all-dayer is a measure designed to challenge both myself as a journalist and the battery life of my ageing iPhone; to my horror I am to discover that the real challenge is not showing solidarity with my departing friends and staying behind to cover the remains of what I kindly say is to be a disappointment. The first act, the two-piece Glove give a strong impression, the Arri Up-esque vocal acrobatics, limited yet aggressive drum style and the guitar’s ability to go from ambient to not-so-ambient is encouraging to see, giving the me the illusion the follow-ups on the bill would be as qualitatively consistent, if not more so… it appears I was a little optimistic.

Other menu options like Liines and entities not even worth mentioning are essentially the dry part of the sandwich that while edible enough for consumption, you kind of wish you could have taken the thing apart and removed them from the equation altogether. The visual centric (well sort of) act that is Queen Zee are a marginal improvement over the aforementioned predecessors, however the flamboyant, fast tempo ‘punk’-type music they play is rather predictable in format. It’s almost as though they think half-baked theatrics like mooning or mic stand knocking is going to give them a warm coating of credibility, that they in turn harness in order to lure kids into the gingerbread house of stealing money from their pockets; not close, and certainly no cigar. They even have the nerve to ask the audience to boo them on their set closer, to give them something to ‘feed off’; I suspect some were genuine.

As my cynicism grows, the final support graces the stage; it’s as though Kraftwerk raided Rick Wakeman’s wardrobe and decided it would be a great idea to adopt a celestial stage persona for live performances. I admit, I quite enjoy the 8-bit clusterfuck going on known as Henge, but I wouldn’t exactly call it unique as it reminded me a little of the Snapped Ankles gig I reviewed a few months back (I’ll take the orb though).


Led by journ’o’punk/Fist of the North Star villain John Robb-(ed) and augmented by a BIMM choir, the Membranes act as self-promoter to their latest, ridiculously overpriced LP (£40? *Tim Allen grunt*). Adding to the woes, the lyrics are some of the clunkiest to grace my ear drums (All I see, dark energy? Do the supernova?); secretly I hope this was all a big ironic joke that they were gonna spring on us but sadly, I don’t think this outcome is going to occur.

Of course, the real joke is thinking you could get away with hosting the event in a venue about as punk as David Dickinson; it being more restrictive than living in the GDR, as well as the Stasi-like policy on re-entry make sure of that. The benefit of doing it in a smaller venue would have provided some sincerity as well as averting the shame of performing to a crowd hardly filled to capacity. I mean the band itself aren’t terrible, I quite like the tension-building drumming and the effect the choir have, and even the distorted guitars (common as they are), but I’d rather not be party to funding a group of has-been punks’ Christmas cake consumption; visiting a graveyard/immersing myself in nature would have probably been a cheaper alternative. ABRIDGED REVIEW: BOLLOCKS

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Angus Rolland

Recent career decisions have compelled me into the journalistic... thing; I could list my literary influences or even debate which 3rd rate beverage has the best economic value per litre (But I won’t). Oh, in addition, I write reviews for the Independents Network.