Dirt Box Disco: Manchester – live review

Dirt Box Disco
The Star & Garter, Manchester
Sunday 28th April 2013

It’s raining, no one is surprised for we are in Manchester, a city whose wealth was founded upon its moist climate; however this rain has not been carried in from the North Atlantic, this particular variant is somewhat golden in colour and has the bitter taste of hops; on stage are five ludicrously dressed blokes who variously call themselves Spunk Volcano, Maff Fazzo, WEAB.I.AM, Deadbeatz and Fingerz and collectively Dirt Box Disco…beneath them the source of the ‘rain’ – 300 grinning lunatics,  each and every one of them hell bent on having the time of their lives as Dirt Box Disco deliver their own brand of 100% Rock n’ Roll; the mosh-pit is bouncing, the stage divers are queuing for their chance, the remainder shower the crowd champagne style with pints of amber nectar…

Some thirty minutes earlier the same crowd are pushing towards the stage, the gig is the Dirt Box Disco ‘People Made Of Paper’ album launch, the album being released the following day (LTW Review) – there is real sense of excitement in the air, this is clearly an occasion – people have travelled from across the country to be here. As such when the lights dip all eyes are focussed on the Dirt Box Disco banner draped across the rear, they initially miss WEAB.I.AM as he enters the room from the rear; though how you miss a bloke over 6ft 2 tall wearing an animal print onesie whose face is fainted in harlequin design is beyond me; once spotted he is greeted like a conquering hero and ushered towards the stage, bang on cue the four other misfits career from a side door to be engulfed in a huge roar from the crowd, Dirt Box Disco were greeted like hown town hereo’s except they are more than 75 miles from; when they finally get onto the stage WEAB steps forward “Are you ready” he whispers into his mic; before the crowd have time to respond Dirt Box Disco literally explode into life – what follows is a genuine spectacle, a lesson on how to deliver sheer unadulterated pleasure, a lesson on just how to connect with your audience, opening with the blistering ‘Freaks’ with its punch the air rallying call “all of the freaks are here” the crowd respond instantly, a booze filled mass choir chanting the chorus back cementing their bond with the band; this was already becoming a gig of legend…

Dirt Box Disco: Manchester – live review

DBD pinball the stage, WEAB despite his sheer size is remarkably nimble leaping around like a man with serious case of St Vitus, to his right Spunk Volcano, the one-eyed deviant gently chides the masses between songs reminding them that he has slept with most of their mothers…and sisters; Fazzo pummels the drums, Fingerz who has gone for a red face to mark the occasion as WEAB leads us through a succession of tracks drawn from both the previous ‘Legends’ album and the ‘Paper’ album; fuck me this band are good, each track mainlines straight into your nucleus accumbens; that’s the section of your brain that registers pleasure; tonight it’s in danger of imminent overload as we head full throttle into ‘My Girlfriends Best Friend Sister’, ‘She’s My Baby’ and ‘My Life Is Shit!’ – there is no posturing, no stance, despite the costumes Dirt Box Disco are as honest as they come, they excel at delivering no nonsense rock n’ roll, their songs are rammed full of hooks and harmonies that engage the now seething crowd “I am rock n’ roll, you are rock n’ roll, WE are rock n’ roll” hollers WEAB cementing the bond.

Dirt Box Disco are currently the only underground band that look to have a chance of breaking through to larger venues, and of gaining the audience they genuinely deserve, with ‘People Made Of Paper’ and performances like tonight they have the key in their own hands.

Dirt Box Disco play;

4th May The Boat House, Cambridge
5th May The Old Angel, Nottingham

Followed by dates in Germany, they return to the UK in June and are later set to appear at The Rebellion Festival, and Bladefest, a Christmas gig at the Star & Garter is scheduled for the 22nd of December 2013 – might be an idea to get your tickets now!

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Phil Newall is 47, from The Wirral - he earns his living not writing about music nor playing music...though sorely wishes he could. He was fortunate enough to see many of the first generation punk bands when they played the U18's matinee shows at Eric's, Liverpool. As an attendee at Eric's he was exposed to punk rock, dub reggae, art rock, and all manner of weirdness; as a customer at Probe Records he was variously served and scowled at by Pete Wylie and Pete Burns - he has written for Record Collector, Whisperin & Hollerin, and Spiral Scratch and wanted to write a book detailing the Liverpool punk scene; however with 'Head-On' Julian Cope beat him to it...and frankly did a much better job.


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