There's always one good thing about punk gigs and that is the simple fact that I will, for once, not be the oldest guy in the room who isn't related to one of the performing bands by reason of blood. Honestly, it is almost as rewarding as being in love with a barmaid. Almost.
So, without further ado, it was time for Spout Mouth to make their mark. Verily they did too even though they were undoubtedly owners of a Vauxhall Vectra and enslaved by mortgage to the mighty Santander. However, punk is an old man's game these days and, while old men cannot avoid their responsibilities, Spout Mouth were still able to provide proof that their musical abilities were in no need of Viagra.
Rather artless in comparison were Shatterhand who pretty much abandoned the voice of protest thing in favour of a rather untidy attempt at indie rock. That said, this was a warm performance that made me think of them as a bunch of good old boys out to have some old style fun. Nonetheless, I wouldn't have been surprised if the drummer had announced that one of his children was in The View.
Proving themselves properly committed performers were Australian band Rust. With a righteously focused, guitar powered and sometimes downright polemic performance, they were the proof that the real thing still exists. DD Black's guitar was both vicious and perfectly controlled while front man Gazz did what a front man should do and drove the band forward into a victorious battle against apathy. Like I said, Rust are the real thing.
Taking headline honours were Detroit band Choking Susan. If Rust were serious, Choking Susan were more entertainment with Colleen Caffeine taking the theatrical approach to songs about girls on the lam from an episode of Friends. With a brutal simplicity, Choking Susan took what would have been pop songs and turned them into anti-personnel weapons with "You're So Pretty" particularly effective in the fight against plastic reality. Drawn back for an encore, the band went for an easy kill with a Stooges' cover although, it has to be said, the sight of Ms Caffeine crawling on all fours through the crowd will live with me for quite some time. I did consider asking her if she did housework but I reckoned that such a question might just earn me a stabbing.
So, all things considered, punk seems most certainly to be an old man's game but Colleen Caffeine is just a whole different ball game. Joe Jackson once wrote that it was different for girls. He was right.