Dirt Box Disco – Bloonz Album Launch,The Star & Garter, Manchester, 27th April 2014

Having seen Dirt Box Disco a couple of times and having the pleasure of reviewing their latest album Bloonz there was no way I was going to miss the launch of the said album having rated it top marks with five (golden) stars! This was to be the second launch show this weekend, the first being the day before in Corby to give fans from both North and South the chance to attend. Like the Christmas show they headlined at The Star and Garter back in December, this was yet another sold out show.

Opening this afternoon were Viki Vortex and the Cumshots. I never did get to ask how they came up with such an interesting name and yes it was an afternoon/early evening gig on Sunday to give people the chance to get public transport home. Viki Vortex and the Cumshots are a three piece formed in Girona, Spain in 2008, although front-woman Viki lives over in Spain now she’s got a West Country accent, very Cider with Rosie-ish!  Viki also plays bass and made a striking figure with a mane of blonde and orange hair. Guitarist Steve was in a green and black striped jumper and salmon pink jeans, which kind of matched his hair and drummer Theo, with a flat top had a Cramps t-shirt on, or had at the start of the gig anyway!

They managed to pack eighteen songs into their set. Lots of short really fast rocking numbers. Big Mouth with the opening line ‘I Don’t Like You’ was very Buzzcocks-ish. There was one slower song in there and Viki announced ‘This is our slow number so get your lighters out’ unfortunately I didn’t catch the name of the song. They’ve brought out a cassette, for those of us who remember the days of records and tape cassettes, for those who don’t know what a tape cassette looks or feels like, the songs will also be available to download. Most of the songs were short, sweet and fast reminding me of The Violent Femmes as well as the aforementioned Buzzcocks. Finishing with Porno Surfer 69 a bit similar to King Kurt’s Destination Zululand. Finishing with a ‘Cheers. Thank you’ from Viki and cheers thank you to Viki Vortex and The Cumshots for coming over from Spain to open the show.

Set List:

Bad Girl / Hold On / Suburban Nightmares / Plastic Fantastic / Countdown to a Breakdown / Burn Today / Twisted And Sick /
Angel Devil / Give Us a Reason / Germs / Big Mouth / Radio’s Dead / Rats in a Cage / Easy Come, Easy Go / Window Smashing /
Crazy Bloody Fool / On a Roll / Porno Surfer 69

Band Members:

Viki Vortex – mouth and bass
Steve Manuell – Guitar and backing vocals
Theo Theodotou – Drums and sarcastic comments

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VikiVortexAndTheCumshots



From Zululand to Venus! Next up and a little bit closer to home came Destination Venus.  Opening with He Goes these guys reminded me of Jilted John. Crabby said they were going to be doing lots of songs, some old, some new, some borrowed, some blue and he hoped there would be something for everybody. The next song Billy No Mates about, well self-explanatory really, a fast song reminiscent of The Macc Lads with Crabby jumping around manically.  A bass beat heralded the start of Crazy and Crabby pointing at someone in the audience and claiming ‘I think I like you’ A Bottle of Rum was dedicated to all the pirates out there! Ahoy! I did look round for the Captain Jack Sparrow lookalikes but, alas, was disappointed, anyway best not digress! Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle  of Rum.

We got a song for all the ‘New Romantics out there’ I picked up some similarities Motorhead, more Macc Ladds, The Ramones lots of different flavours in Destination Venus.  I Don’t Wanna had a good rock ‘n’ roll beat. Crabby announced that they were going to do the next one because they were in Manchester and they like pop songs.  Destination Venus then played a great cover of Ever Fallen in Love by the Buzzcocks. Crabby thanked Stu for asking them to be part of this.  Thanked us all for listening and we got the last song Drink, Drink, Drink a fast one a bit similar to Dirt Box Disco, with fast screaming riffs. By this time Crabby was dripping in sweat and his final word was ‘Cheers’ so, as before, cheers to Destination Venus for coming to join the show.

Set List:

He Goes / Billy No Mates / Let’s Go / Crazy / My Best Friend / Bottle of Rum / Jane D.O.A / UFO / Hot Lane / Granny / I Don’t Wanna /
Ever Fallen in Love (Buzzcocks cover) / Drink Drink Drink

Band Members:

Rob-Lad – Lead Guitar / Kev K – Bass/Backing Vocals / Crabby Venus – Vocals / Rick Rocket – Drums /Backing Vocals
Paul L – Rhythm Guitar/Backing Vocals

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Destination-Venus/178710722204350

Born to Destruct, the middle band in this Punk Rock sandwich came from Cambridge. Fronted by Woodstock Punkrock with the physique and looks of Buster Bloodvessel Born to Destruct started with Hombres Malvado an Anti-Nowhere League type number. For some reason the crowd had thinned out before they started but the room soon began to fill up again. With the band jumping or bouncing, as much as they could on the confined space of the Star and Garter stage. When Woodstock said ‘Good Evening, we are Born to Destruct’ he sounded quite posh unlike his singing voice. People don’t always speak like they sing. ‘How are you all? I’m going to dedicate this one to Fungal Punk cos he, like me, likes pushing buttons’ was the introduction to Push the Button a simple but catchy song with few words basically, ‘Push the button’ repeat many times, ‘See What Happens’ repeat, ‘It’s all gone dark’ repeat. Push the button’  repeat to the end.

From the audience came shouts of Stu, Stu, Stu to which Woodstock replied ‘Did it take you a long time to come up with that?’ He then claimed that the set-list was timed to perfection ‘Welcome to the Madhouse’ and they proceeded to play the said song, a really fast song with some interesting guitar effects. By this time Woodstock was sweating buckets. Shouts of Jack, Jack, Jack ran out and Woodstock said ‘Yes our new drummer is Jack. We wore the last one out so had to get a new model’ I wondered if they brought the three guys in front of me with them as they were the ones doing all the shouting! Sons, perhaps? Woodstock pointed out an audience member, Tez, who apparently once said he didn’t go and see bands who play in pubs, cos bands who play in pubs are shit, so Proud to be Shit with the chorus ‘All shit bands play in pubs’ was written for him.  Stu then had to retune his bass and Woodstock asked ‘Are you tuning up Stu? He’s more of a Prima Donna than me’ This is for every single one of you who turned up, even if you think we’re shit, Punk as Fuck a catchy tune with good riffs, good lyrics and a changeable chorus ‘I am still Punk as Fuck I’m just too old to pogo’ became ‘I am still Punk as Fuck I’m just too pretty to pogo’ Finishing off with a few thank you s including to the other bands, the STP Records ladies, the  staff letting for him in when he got here to have a wee and, last but not least. every one of us. Born to Destruct ended their set with Destruction Rock ‘n’ Roll a bit similar to Two Pints of Lager and…. by  Splodgenessabounds with a great foot tapping beat.

Just over half way through and all good so far!

Set List:


Band Members:

Woodstock Punkrock – Sexy Guitar + Main Growler
Stu Spider Fingers – Bass + Backing Shouts
Moose – Elk Guitar
Jack Destruct – Drums

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/BORN-TO-DESTRUCT/246990948165

Website: http://www.reverbnation.com/borntodestruct

The penultimate band, from the midlands JD and the FDCs are a band I’d heard many good things about, so I was looking forward to their set. Opening with Ujpest Dozsa from their forthcoming album, due to be released in July. A great rocking opener with a bit of machine gun fast drumming. Then frontman Jamie Derelict asked I do believe today is Bloonz day, is this true? I believe everyone likes rock n roll music is this true? If you are here for rock ‘n’ roll then,  Yes Yes Yes’ with the word Yes typed in big black letters on the back Dazmondo’s guitar and helpfully held aloft when we were to shout yes. All the band were dressed in black with white armbands with FDC typed on in black letters and Jamie in a flat cap. These guys reminded me of American Punk bands like Green Day, Blink 182 and The Offspring.  Jamie dedicated the song Switchblade Knife  to his friend and Punk Rock Legend Johny Skullknuckles, who was in the audience and had played guitar for the likes of the Anti-Nowhere League and Goldblade and now fronts The Kopek Millionaires. A great fast song with some screaming guitar riffs and all the band giving it their all.

Jamie then asked ‘Is this sounding alright for you.  Give it up for Danny Gunn’ and then in a bit of a Cilla moment advised us that Danny was single (interested parties apply direct!) with good riffs and a fast rhythm this one definitely reminded me of Green Day. The next song sounded familiar and I initially thought Red Hot Chilli Peppers then I realised it was a cover of Sabotage by The Beastie Boys. Part way through Jamie demanded ‘Quiet’ ‘Hush’ ‘Raise your Slade thumbs’ and after a little silent appreciation there was a loud scream of ‘Yeah’ before the band launched into the end of the song. Then Jamie announced that although he wasn’t one to name-drop they had an album downstairs with Black Flag on, and tonight they had an even more  famous friend singing with them Spunk Volcano and asked us to give him a bigger shout than Black Flag. Up got Spunk to tell us that the song (which he wrote) was called Stop Look and Fucking Listen a fast song with a similar sound to Dirt Box Disco and Spunk Volcano and the Eruptions, surprisingly!

Next came their biggest ‘smash hit’ single to date which according to Jamie was currently ‘no 1 in Clitheroe, no 3 in Warley, but in Burnley forget about it’ To warm us up ready for Dirt Box Disco came Burn This City Down the official video, to which, can be seen on YouTube, it’s a great video so watch it when as you can! Then Jamie said ‘One more for you, is that Ok?’ the general consensus was ‘yes’ and he then said ‘Good cos we’re doing it anyway’ before thanking Stu for giving Rock n Roll to The Star and Garter and asked us to ‘Give it up for all the bands’ ‘Dirt Box Disco those guys are going to go far. This one is for Dirt Box Disco but don’t tell them we wrote this one about all them Stupid Music Played by Idiots’ a fast ska-ish song which had Jamie ditching his guitar and getting down amongst the audience, giving people the chance to sing the chorus ‘Stupid Music Played by Idiots’ Then Jamie got back on stage to shouts of ‘Yes, Yes, Yes’ with the final words from Jamie being ‘Thank you. We’ve been JD and the FDCs. We will be back’ Great set from JD and the FDCs and luckily I only had to wait a week to see them again at NLC/RAPCA festival.

Set List

Ujpest Dozsa, This Ship is Going Down, Mirrors & Wires, Switchblade Knife, From The Shadows, The Secret/Sabotage, Stop Look and Fucking Listen ( with Spunk) , Burn This City Down, Stupid Music Played By Idiots

Band Members:

Jamie Delerict – Vocals/Guitar / Dazmondo – Lead Guitar/Vocals / Joey Strange – Lead Bass/Vocals /Danny Gunn – Drums


Last came the main act Dirt Box Disco (DBD) all the way from somewhere in the Midlands to celebrate the release of their album Bloonz. In honour of the album there were balloons flying around everywhere. I particularly loved the mohawked Spunk balloon! Shouts of ‘Hurray, Hurray, it’s Dirt Box Day’ rang out and the band managed to push their way through the crowd and up on to the stage. Spunk shouted ‘Are you ready. Got your singing voices ready?’ Weab fired a big champagne popper with paper confetti into the audience and the show commenced with Other Side of the Street. Everyone was singing along to the chorus ‘Alright Come On’ and DBD looking happy to be up there entertaining the adoring crowd!

It was difficult to see through the mass of balloons but DBD started the show with some old favourites. Next came Burning followed by Tragic Roundabout. Weab then said ‘This is our album launch’ and asked if anyone wanted a refund. Quick as a flash Spunk yelled ‘You can fuck off for a refund!’ before playing the first Bloonz song of the night, which is also the opening track, Standing in a Queue a DBD style love song.  I’m not sure what someone shouted but Spunk was quick to reply ‘Would we be playing here if we knew any good songs you cunt!’ Nothing like a bit of heckling to bring out Spunk’s comic one liners! I don’t think any malice was intended on either side though! More champagne poppers were popped and Weab announced ‘You make my pee pee want to grow. Here’s one of the old ones. Enjoy’ before DBD launched into Peepshow a fast, furious number which was indeed enjoyed by all with most people singing along. We then got We Are The Rejects a short fast burst of Punk Spunk. After that Weab decided they were going to ‘Slow it down cos loads of you are old and fat and need the rest’ to which Spunk said ‘It’s like looking in an audience mirror’ I wouldn’t have said My Life is Shit was particularly slow and mellow though!

More favourites old and new followed with no lack of audience participation at any point. People were either singing, dancing, waving their arms or all three! Then we came to King of the Castle a great track with the line ‘I’m the King of the castle and you’re the fucking bastard’ a new Punk infused nursery rhyme? Weab who’d been giving it his all, said ‘I’m sweating like I’ve been masturbating for a month’ and by this stage his make up did look to be running just a bit!

We then got three ‘Girly’ songs in a row. I Just Wanna be a Girl, a very lively She Goes Out then according to Weab one about ‘Going to the zoo and getting your knackers caught in an ant-eater. Enjoy’ My Girlfriend’s Best Friend’s Sister and I think the reference to enjoy meant the song rather than going to zoo and….. With those three songs finished and enjoyed by all Weab said ‘You guys are sexy as fuck! Fucking beautiful every one of you!’ and asked us to give it up for Danny Fingers who could hardly move but wasn’t going to give tonight a miss! Spunk was less than sympathetic towards Danny as he said ‘Don’t give him any sympathy’ and called him a ‘Blue Bastard’ before strumming the opening bars to Queen’s Another One Bites the Dust. Danny has actually got a few slipped discs so hasn’t been able to play at some of the gigs but aims to be back later in the year. He made a great effort for the album launch and I suspect Spunk’s jibes were really a sign of affection! We’re Going Out Tonight a great party anthem with a great rhythm and riffs, and also the last track on Bloonz came next with the chorus  ‘We’re going out tonight. Cocaine, whisky and rock n roll all night’

With only a few songs left Spunk thanked all the bands and the audience before the band played I Don’t Wanna Go Out With You by this stage a few of the balloons must have burst and I saw through the throng a Spunk wannabe blundering his way through the audience, this one with a bright pink mohawk. Imposter Spunk mounted the stage and took over on the real Spunk’s guitar. His scruffy t-shirt was emblazoned with ‘Baby Spunk’ although he looked like Corrie’s bin man Eddie Yeats (the late Geoffrey Hughes RIP) in a balaclava. I could see the Spunk ‘family’ resemblance. With Baby Spunk taking over the six strings it left Real Spunk hands free, but not for long, as DBD launched into what must be their signature tune Let’s Get (Fucking) Wasted and Spunk found himself a long green balloon which he proceeded to make lewd and vulgar gestures with! (Captured on video below!) Whether or not the balloon lived to tell the tale I don’t know, but I suspect it got wasted not long after the onslaught from Spunk! A few of the riffs sounded out of key but who cared? It was pure unadulterated punk rock and had everyone singing along!

The last song of the main set Dirt Box Day saw some of the audience up there singing along to the chorus There will be other days, Hurray, Hurray it’s Dirt Box Day. Weab then gave thanks worthy of an awards ceremony ‘Manchester, you’re amazing! It wouldn’t be possible without the STP crew’ and he gave special thanks to Stu Taylor and the  STP ladies. After shouts for more we got an encore and the last song saw even more audience participation as  Spiderman Spunk was up on stage and a girl with fab green hair which matched Maff’s wig. Everyone was having a great rock n roll time but the party had to end somewhere with the final words from Spunk  ‘Thank you! Goodnight everyone’

Another fantastic shown from DBD to celebrate the launch of Bloonz and in the words of the song Dirt Box Day There Will be other Days!  Less than a week for me, as I was to see them at NLC/RAPCA less than one week later. These guys tour hard. If you like a good time and Punk Rock catch them at a gig, at a venue near you soon!

Set List:

Other Side of the Street
Tragic Roundabout
Standing in a Queue
We are the Rejects
My Life is Shit
King of the Castle
I Just Wanna be a Girl
She Goes Out
My Girlfriend’s Best Friend’s Sister
Going Out Tonight
I Don’t Wanna Go Out With You
Let’s Get Wasted
Dirt Box Day
Encore – I am Rock n Roll

Band Members:

WEAB.I.AM – !!!! (Vocals)
SPUNK VOLCANO – ??? (Guitar)
MAFF – tea & cake (Drums)
FINGERS – more sex than the local porn shop (Guitar)
DEADBEATZ – cooler than you (Bass)

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/DIRT-BOX-DISCO/129060477115572?ref=br_tf



About Louise Swift

I first went to a gig in 1981, Gillan at Leeds University. I've been a regular gig goer ever since. I haven't kept count of how many gigs I've been to over the intervening years, but it's a lot! My favourite bands are AC/DC then, in no particular order, Anti-Nowhere League, Slaughter and the Dogs, Towers of London and Dirt Box Disco. I tend to like Glam/Punk and rude offensive lyrics, not sure what that says about me but as Animal would say 'So What!' The question was recently put to me - did I write for any online publications? My reply - No, but I'd like to! Planetmosh was suggested and I found myself offering to review Aces High Festival. Easy peasy I thought! Well not quite, if a jobs worth doing it's worth doing well! I had sixteen bands to research. I found I actually enjoyed that and it kept me too busy to be making lunatic comments on Facebook! ;) Then I felt a bit inadequately qualified. I mean, who am I to comment on others, when my musical expertise extends to being able to play a mean Greensleeves on the recorder and a passable Annie's song on the flute! Haven't picked up either instrument for years! What I do have, however, is over 30 years of experience as a gig goer, so I can comment on what I like and what I don't! It's only my opinion and, if I don't like a band it doesn't mean they are bad, just not to my own liking. I admire anyone who has the guts to get up on that stage and have a go!