Talking Heads, Southampton

Dirt Box Disco

It’s Saturday night, less than a fortnight before Rebellion (Punk Festival) and Burton-on-Trent’s finest are in town for their last gig before the “big one”. I don’t know if there’s lots of other gigs going on in the city tonight, or it’s just festival season but the omens don’t look good as we enter the venue. There’s barely a handful of people in here. By the hour of 8 a few more have swelled the ranks somewhat as Bournemouth’s Crash Landings take to the stage.

Armed tonight with a clutch of new songs and spirit to deliver, they go about their business. They open with newie “Colour of The Collar”. Immediately I get the feeling their straight up Punk sound has morphed into a harder-edged Streetpunk/Oi style. Si (vox) is noticeably gravelly in delivery and he displays a rabble-rousing swagger between songs. Never shy in talking between numbers he explains tonight’s set will contain new material. However, it’s the older staples that still sound as fresh as two years ago. “Prozac Empire” is their best song (to date) and an early highlight; but is in danger of being upstaged by another newie “Goals”, getting only its 2nd outing tonight. Seb’s throbbing bass forms the power of the song, matched to Si’s rasping vocal. It’s as anthemic as it is loud. “Halloween” is yet another from the TCL production line and unless I’m very much mistaken, isn’t so much a song about ghosts and ghouls but more about the night time social habits of the drinkers. “Getting My Results” follows and we all know what that’s about-fair play to any band having the balls to write a song of such subject matter. “What Goes Round” also gets only its 2nd airing tonight but is no less immediate. Seb (bass) cannot keep still as he patrols the stage, pulling every shape imaginable, it’s as if his legs are made of rubber! Penultimate track “Hatemail” is delivered with the usual gusto before they end on another newie. I was hoping for “Billy”… but even that was upstaged by clear set highlight “P.F.B.” I don’t know what it stands for but that is irrelevant, it’s another powerful cut in a largely faultless set. Getting out of the Bournemouth Scene has clearly paid dividends for TCL’s, there’s a newfound confidence about their output and dynamic. Proof if ever it were needed that if you put the miles in you reap the rewards. With studio time booked for early sessions to lay down tracks for the 2nd LP, I feel the trajectory of this band is clearly on an upward scale. Only time will tell but on tonight’s evidence the future is bright.

The Crash Landings
The Crash Landings 1234567

With a few more punters in the room, a quick turnaround sees Brighton’s Skurvi take to the stage. I know this band well having seen them a few times. They sing songs about football, drinking and birds-what is there not to like?! Tonight’s set is largely culled from their epic LP “Get ‘Em In”. They set out their stall early with the speedy “Snatch Squad”. Jimmy (vox) is energetic from the word go, grinning uncontrollably. “Drunken Nights” follows as the crowd is encouraged with the “woah’s” on this anthemic little number. Jimmy then suggests “let’s do another song about drinking”; “3 Cheers” soon follows and it’s much of the same. “Geezer” is delivered with a ferocity of speed and power. Craig (drums) looks like he’s about to have a coronary, yet his hand speed is unquestionable. It’s comedic, anthemic and singalong-(as are most of their songs). “Better Way” has more than a passing nod to the Cockney Rejects-Perry (guitar/vox) is head down in concentration while Liam (bass/vox) contributes to the “woah’s”.

Skurvi 1234

Set highlight “She’s Coming” is simply brilliant tonight-Craig sets it up with a pummelling of the skins before the frankly honest lyrics are delivered in joyous fashion by Jimmy. “She’s coming home with me my friend”… say no more! “Football Is My Life” is preceded by some barracking from Liam, who quizzingly questions this audience on their South Coast football allegiances. A few “fuck off’s” greet this line of questioning before a wry smile and it’s on with the song. “Skum Rises” tonight is re-christened ‘Scrum Rises’ after another bout of footie banter from Liam. It’s an aggressive Streetpunk rant which lyrically pulls no punches, yet delivers. “Till We Die” is autobiographical in every sense-clangy guitars match the frenetic, powerhouse drums but lyrically it tells the band’s story. More “Woah, Woah, Woah’s” begin the intro to “Her”, a cautionary tale about a female! They end on “Skinhead”, a song dedicated to men whose hair has fallen out and everything has “gone south”! It’s an Oi/Punk classic which ends this terrific set. Skurvi never disappoint and never do a bad show and tonight is no different. Another set choc full of anthems and humour and an audience who loved them-follow that Dirtbox!

And so we reach the main event. With little fuss, Dirt Box Disco take to the stage. They could be forgiven for looking out onto an audience that numbers less than 100 and think ah well, we’ll just shorten the set; but no, the guys perform as if they were playing to a full room. They open with “Other Side Of The Street”, Weab (vox) is in humourous mood and good voice. “Burning” gets the first of many singalongs as they find their feet. “Tragic Roundabout” takes me back to when I first saw them at the ill-fated Pompey Punkfest some five years ago, it hasn’t dated. “Peepshow” precedes the frankly hilarious ‘Fingerblast’ as Spunk (guitar/b vox) finally finds his voice. “Guestlist” is simply brilliant with this Southampton crowd now in full voice. Weab praises us for not just standing there with phones in the air and introduces “The Art of Conversation”. “Slapdash and Haphazard” precedes set highlight “My Life Is Shit” and for the first time tonight this crowd go a little wild! Weab finds humour introducing just about every song from now onwards. “Who’s got a girlfriend?
Mine lives on the Top Shelf!” Spunk then chips in with “who in this audience has got a dick and a fanny?” before singling out one punter. This is dedicated to you mate “Just Wanna Be A Girl”! Laughs all round and on they go, bringing out the big guns. “Imaginary Friend” sees Chris (bass) add his voice, as does Danny (guitar) – in fact, the whole band (and the audience) join in on this one. “My Girlfriends Best Friends Sister” is another set highlight before Weab precedes “What You Gonna Do About It” with a simple explanation about the band;”in case you didn’t know, we are Dirt Box, We are Bastards, and we love it”… Weab follows that with the most humourous insult of the evening. He looks down at a female punter and says “you look diseased, I couldn’t go out with you”! Cue “I Dont Wanna Go Out With You” with said girl still smiling! The band thank us all for coming along tonight and singing and dancing. A rampant “Let’s Get Wasted” follows.

Dirt Box Disco
Dirt Box Disco 123456789

Weab asks to play one more song? No becomes yes as they end on “Dirtbox Days” and invite the audience to join them onstage. About 10 punters join them for a good ole singsong and that folks is that. Never a dull moment at a DBD show-these guys know how to entertain whether it’s 3000 people in the Empress Ballroom (Rebellion) or a half empty venue on the club circuit. Tonight has been the perfect warm-up for their show in Blackpool in under 2 weeks time. I just hope that when they return to the area they are rewarded with a full house-boy do they deserve it. Legends indeed!

Set Lists
The Crash Landings
Colour of The Collar
Prozac Empire
The Wall
Getting My Results
What Goes Round

Snatch Squad
Drunken Nights
3 Cheers
Better Way
She’s Coming
Football Is My Life
Sk(r)um Rises
Till We Die

Dirt Box Disco
The Other Side of The Street
Tragic Roundabout
Guest List
Standing In A Queue
The Art of Conversation
Slapdash and Haphazard
My Life Is Shit
Top Shelf
I Just Wanna Be A Girl
Imaginary Friend
My Girlfriend’s Best Friend’s Sister
What You Gonna Do About It
I Don’t Wanna Go Out With You
Let’s Get Wasted

Dirt Box Days



Review, and Pictures by Ross A. Ferrone.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to MySpace