Like most three-piece bands who play a rowdy brand of punk, local lads PND sound far bigger than their constituent parts. They’re an unholy trio who put the boot into punk and deliver anthemic songs that wouldn’t be out of place if sung on a football terrace. They deliver a set of original tunes of which ‘Talcy Malcy’ (that’s Malcolm McLaren, no doubt) is particularly potent.
Judging by the hardcore-infused songs they deliver, Face Up aren’t a quintet you’d want to meet down a dark alley, but when rocking a stage they become strangely appealing. They play punk how it should be performed; it’s a no-holds-barred, warts-n-all affair that doesn’t take prisoners. But don’t mistake power and passion for sloppiness because Face Up are wound up tighter than a drum and deliver each song like a punch to the solar plexus. They’re certainly no for the faint- hearted, but their T-shirts do come with a warning; Face Up…Or F*ck Off!
We’ve been spoiled with two strong support bands, both of whom have riled the crowd up nicely, yet when Conflict hit the stage, they prove themselves a major step up in class. ‘Let The Battle Commence’ is the aptly-titled opener and it finds the band displaying the same kind of anger that characterised their early career, but let’s face it, there’s still plenty to be angry about. As soon as the first chord rings out, they’re right on point and proceed to deliver an abject lesson in anarcho-punk. Songs such as ‘Blind Attack’ and ‘The Ungovernable Force’ are tailor made for civil disobedience, they’re the soundtrack to a nation aflame, and their incendiary nature ignites some serious action in the pit. There’s no slacking as the band plough through a solid 75-minute set with singer Colin Jerwood shredding his voice, as does co-vocalist Fi Friel, and when combined makes for an intense experience. Despite all the visceral rage, this is a gig of unity, and as closer ‘Serenade Is Dead’ fades into a wall of feedback Colin screams “We are one”, concluding a riotous evening with a moment of hope.