Friday at Manchester Punk Festival was even more fantastic than Thursday. I got to see a broad spectrum of different styles represented and it was all a lot of fun.
I started my evening worrying about whether I’d be able to get into The Bread Shed on time to see Stand Out Riot. They only reformed recently and knew that their set would be a gem. Luckily I did, and it was fantastic. I love their mix of punk, hardcore, ska, gypsy and klezma and it made for a furiously lively set. I’ve noticed that there’s been think-pieces written recently bracing for the return of Ska-Punk and I for one welcome our Ska-Punk overlords if they’re like Stand Out Riot.
Once Stand Out Riot had finished, I headed over to Rebellion as I didn’t want to miss Death By Stereo, but I got something far more precious instead. I got to see Japanese melodic hardcore band Waterweed. Rebellion itself was filling steadily, with Waterweed getting the benefit of it, playing their music passionately and intricately in front of people who maybe were as ignorant as I was to them. It was a great moment of a band being humbled by the response they were receiving, and both parties working their damnedest towards giving each other the best time possible. It was phenomenal and probably my favourite set of the whole weekend. I didn’t get the “Ole Ole Ole” chants though from the audience.
Death By Stereo literally hollered their way to the stage, set themselves up and then gave everybody a kicking. It was breathless, grubby fun. It involved getting in their audience’s faces, hilariously choreographed dance moves, and the biggest riffs of the weekend. I was not disappointed. I was getting a drink at one point during their set, I turned round and half of the band were directly behind me, trying to order shots from the bar. I saw my opportunity and took a selfie. I am unapologetic.
I’d heard over the MPF 2018 app (which was really easy to use, helpful and gave alerts fifteen minutes before a band you liked set was due to start) that the Zombie Shack where the covers gig was going to kick off was nearly full. As it was the thing I enjoyed the most at last year’s festival, I hurried over and only just got in before Aerial Salad/Green Day began. Theirs was a literal interpretation of a covers set, more like a tribute band than a covers set, all very tongue-in-cheek and entertaining. With cheesy grins and bad American accents, they belted out some brilliant early songs that I’d not heard in years and it got everybody moving.
The Revenge Of The Psychotronic Man & Friends/Oasis set was highly anticipated but was unfortunately cut short due to technical problems. It was one of those things that can happen to anyone and it was unfortunate to miss out on seeing it. The songs that they were able to blast out were entertaining though.
I then returned to the Bread Shed in time to catch Welsh punk monstrosities Pizzatramp. I have shared a stage with them before and knew exactly what I was getting and they are so much fun. Punk chords played over Death Metal speeds, I think they were probably the fastest band of the festival in terms of beats-per-minute.
They also got people crowd surfing on an inflatable pizza slice. It looked a death trap but seemed a lot of fun. I think I had the most fun on this night of the festival, the bands I saw were all great and I went home with a big smile on my face ready to get back the following day and do it all again.