‘The Punk Machine’ DVD review (inc Subhumans/Citizen Fish)

Various Artists ”ËœThe Punk Machine’ DVD
Bluurg/Crash Assailant Records/Third Eye Films

Available now.

Yet more evidence that those industrious chaps within the Subhumans/Citizen Fish/Bluurg Records camp fully understand the work ethic”¦

Hot on the heels of the current Citizen Fish ”ËœGoods’ album (LTW review), and numerous pan European festival appearances comes ”ËœThe Punk Machine’ DVD ”“ essentially a compilation of live video footage from a selection of bands socially and politically aligned to Bluurg etc. However in an effort to lift this from being just another compilation, a humorous storyline has been created that is then interspersed with the live clips.

The gist of the story, played out by various Bluurg camp members being that they are a hapless punk band who after 20 years of trying are on the verge of calling it a day; they agree to a final last gasp effort and during rehearsals are visited by the mysterious impresario Lucifer Spooks who offers to assist them by providing them with ”Ëœthe punk machine’ ”“ the lads say that they want to sound like Star Fucking Hipsters and Far-Cue ”“ at this point live clips of both bands follow.

Spooks provides our hopeless trio with ”Ëœthe punk machine’ and tells the lads to anticipate meteoric success; spurred by Joes’s belief they activate the machine, which we are taught was created by the evil Dr. Vile (Dick Lucas) – the lads further efforts are as dismal as their first, and they once again play clips of Citizen Fish, Subhumans and Leftover Crack in an effort to show Spooks the bands they wish to emulate ”“ Spooks encourages them and arranges a showcase gig”¦ during which the true power of ”Ëœthe punk machine’ is revealed ”“ it’s a scam device to rip off punters of their cash, however our hopeless trio have the last laugh for when they tamper with the machine and feed real punk music back to Dr. Vile, it changes his life and he joins the band now called Hi-Fi Insectzs as a singer.

As can be expected this is not a big budget release, its raw live footage interspersed with home recorded film and all produced in ”Ëœglorious punkoscope’ That said it’s a neat way of bringing bands to the wider public, bands who would otherwise be shunned.

As the cover declares ”ËœA thrilling story occasionally interrupted by punk music’

If you are aware of Subhumans/Citizen Fish then you will know what to expect, if not it’s your chance to witness some grass roots DIY punk and ska plus clips of luminaries such as A-Heads and Bus Station Loonies.

Available for £6 (UK P&P inc) from: 37 Faulkland Rd, Bath, BA2 3LT

Further info at Bluurg Records

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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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