Don't Come Back!
Oppressed Logic, 17 Stitches, Edward, Intention
Birmingham, Old Railway
Tuesday July 3rd 2001
This I'm ashamed to say was my first gig this year!!! But what a band to bring me out the traps for! Yeah Oaklands Oppressed Logic after months of feedback, interviews, reviews and abuse finally make it to the centre of nowhere. There ain't many bands who can drag me from the cool confines of a Wolverhampton bar on a humid summers night easily these days. But these fuckers sure did, and I don't regret it for one minute. I even got a disposable camera to capture the event.
I finally get to the venue around 7.00 with sweat pouring down my face after a 20 minute hike around Birmingham. Birmingham the UK's second largest city is resembling bombed out Dresden these days. It's like one massive fucking building site and hard to navigate. Well I eventually enter the Old Railway after a brief pit stop over at the Eagle pub round the corner. When I walk in there's a smattering of locals at the bar and it's looks decidedly VERY quiet! I walk through to the gig room anticipating a non-event and who should I bump into coming the other way but Mrs Adrienne Avilez. Aka Mrs O'Dogshit. She's the Canadian bassplayer in Oppressed Logic and wife of Mr Mike 'Cyco Fuck what you heard' Avilez. I recognized her straight away with her twin peaked purple mohawks, Bunchoffuckingoofs t-shirt and trademark 15 hole Doctor Martin footwear. In fact she looks exactly like she does on the cover of 'It's Harrasment' CD. I go without trying to scare her to death "alright Mrs O' Dogshit!" and she goes "Peter Dont Care?" in a bemused manner. Well she's looking happy, healthy and in one piece. She enthusiastically tells me the tours going great with no major mishaps. And Southend a few nights ago was great!!! I ask where Mike and the rest of the band are? Mike's in the gig room watching the stall. Todd Dammit the guitarist is in the bar watching the beer with the giant roadie/security/snorer and lead singer PhilCreant from the Miscreants. This guy makes those American WWF wrestlers look small!!! They are also joined by the driver guy from Leeds circa California. He looks the spit of Richie Cunningham from Happy Days. Well I go and introduce myself to Mr Cyco Loco Logic who was sporting a short dark mohawk and goatee. He had more than a passing resemblance of some Spanish Satan! Ha! I don't know how he does it but he only looks about 14 years old!!!!!! But looks can be deceptive, coz Mike comes across as a pretty sharp streetwise character and not one to miss an opportunity tee hee. He hands me a battered tape from out his suitcase with some tracks they recorded at a local radio show recently. Well the stall looks good with a load of Oppressed Logic
merchandise including records, CD's, tapes and T-shirts. Can't help thinking to myself he'll be lucky to flog much at tonights gig. But I was after a t-shirt myself which I was gonna buy after the gig but fucking forgot in the end grrrrrr. Anyway some of the local bands are soundchecking so me and Mrs Logic my Canadian translator for the night head for the bar. I start leaking like an ice cube on a hot pavement as the first pint of Carlsberg hits the back of my throat. And Adrienne done Canada proud in the drinking stakes coz she can knock em back as good if not better than the Yanks Ha! After hearing some hilarious tour stories, with those mad Germans springing to mind. I go over and meet Todd Dammit and friends. Dunno where the drummer Gabe Skull was, probably doing drumrolls in the van? I believe he takes his art very seriously. Well the Americans on parade seem obsessed with defacing ten pound notes! So with the false lure of "free" food they are soon bought back down to earth by the bill arriving shortly after. Seems like our friendly European cousins have yet again excelled themselves in touring bands etiquette. Supplying travelling bands with gig money, free food, beer, lodgings, sex and drugs and a carpet to gob on is common place! But the bubble is burst as soon as you enter fortress UK. Coz all they get is no money, expensive bills, poor crowds and Mr Don't Care in his '77 attire!!!! I felt sorry for em! But I did warn Mike what to expect and it seemed to be finally sinking in. They openly admit they love Europe and intend going back but the UK ain't too popular a choice for an unknown band. However they were by no means moaning. I'm the one who does all the moaning! These are a good bunch and still have a good sensa yuma 3 weeks into the tour. They took it all with a pinch of salt, even though some will be homeless when they get back. Food finally arrives and they all tuck into 3 big plates of salads, meat and other fibre. They kindly offer me some. And although tempted I decline, feeling they're gonna need it much more than me in the next few days stay on these shores. Some local guy brings over a big American flag which brings up a cheer. And as Todd Dammit sticks another Johnny Cash record on the jukebox, he rolls up the flag like a true American at a state funeral and salutes Ha! Wheres the fucking bugels when you need em?
Before you know it local heroes Intension who were added at short notice start to make a noise in the gig room. And I gotta say I ain't the biggest fan, having witnessed em at last years Punks picnic. But on tonights performance they give it a real go and have improved 100%. Singer Ian has found his nieche with an energetic display. And he reminded me of a local version of Mr Cyco himself. Except his vocals are a lot more screamy. He jumped around and changed pitch faster than Axel rose on speedball. My only problem was he didn't confront his audience with eye contact half as much as I'd expect. But if you've got about 20 at a push straggling the bar and dark corners of the Railway it must've been pretty hard to connect in cold blood. Mike Cyco was up front with his video camera taking shots of anything of interest. I wonder if he was thinking to himself ...."are these gonna put my Cyco antics on the line?" Well
Intension have got a good sound in the hardcore arena with plenty going on. And the demo I got was a nice surprise with a powerful dual guitar sound and original vocals. They went out with a bang as the singer stood on stools venting his spiel and even giving the bar a mauling during the manic 'Code of Misconduct' their best track and 'Positive' the last song of the set.
Next up were the strangely named Edward, who were completely new to me? They were probably the quirkiest band of the night. Their bare-foot manic metallic hardcore made me wince at times but were the funniest band of the night. Fair play to em coz everyone in the band gave it loads of energy. And I gotta say everyone of the bands on display tonight deserve an accolade for resilence to perform in this kinda heat. Hey it was even hard work watching...stood by the bar!!!
Londoners 17 Stitches where on next. I'd heard a lot about em via the net but weren't too sure what to expect. I love the name. They've been touring all over the place and were an enthusiastic young bunch which is always good to see. But I thought they'd be more of an Intension kinda style but were a lot more streetpunk in sound at least. Lots of manic playing and energy thrown into a hardcore blender. I'd never heard em before so can't tell you about the songs but they got all Oppressed Logic out to view the action. And seemed to go down well with the locals too, who were actually making the place look less empty. Especially with some sporadic movements up front. I thought the singer was a bit too tame for my liking. He meant well, but needed a far more in your face approach and a bit more impact in his delivery. Maybe a few more years on the street will take care of that. But they have youth on their side and can always sort that out later if they really wanna. I had a brief chat later with em and I think they're hungry enough...just a few more stitches are required!
By the time Oppressed Logic hit the stage everyone, support bands, and fans alike came inside giving it a load more atmosphere. Biggest surprise was Todd Dammit who had got decked out in that same American flag he so expertly folded earlier on. Was it Captain America or some other caped crusader? And complete with a Blue Rapist mask? The rolled up trousers he was sporting was a site for sore eyes. This outfit got a lot of laughter out the crowd and the band. As Mike Cyco began his hyperactive stalking I think I detected a wicked gleam in his eye as they kicked off in fine style with the brillant 'Void Of Society'. And you knew it when they started why they were headline band tonight. Tight aggressive punk rock with a bit of showmanship does no-one any harm!!!! They were the only band for me who had mastered the balance between tunes and raw power, without it sounding sterile or an act. Maybe I'm biased but it's great to witness a real punk band on stage now and again. Mike's short in stature but big in style and had the crowd in his palm from start to finish. He's like some caged rat with a no messing attitude. He throws himself around like the expletives in his songs. Pity I couldn't quite catch all his inbetween song banter but im sure it had plenty of "Fuck you's" in there somewhere. Todds guitaring was no joke. He lights the fuel to Mikes angst and has his own style. This ain't metal this is punk. Mrs O'Dogshit can play a mean bass too...even after half a dozen Carlsbergs. You can see why she's not just the token female in this male confine coz she's the singers wife. She can play too! Gabe Skull is the hardcore backbone and although he's a deadly serious powerful drummer, that element can only add to the bands sound. They had a handful of their newer songs on show tonight like 'Mean Hippies' and the brilliant new standard bearer 'No Choice' which is definitely another high in the bands career...."hardcore!" 'It's Not My Fault' is another new track to my ears with the unlimited supply of loco attack on being picked on. Hey Mike how come it's never your fault?......"what you say motherfucker!!" I can hear him reply. He dedicated 'Abort The Kids' to me the cheeky fecker. But I gotta say it's one of my favourite Oppressed Logic songs, so cheers son! It inspired some highly explosive energy being chucked around the room as the front rowers surge on the stage. As el dementoid covered in beer laps it up. Todd's self penned
'This Is Reality' makes a great impact as the machine gun lyrics are belted out cussing the American dream. And although it sounds cold in print it wasnt on the night. A great set that was only glitched by the abscence of the x-rated 'Little Girl' or
'Harrasment' off the CD. Well I can't complain coz of the 14 songs on show there wasn't one bummer. A great raw band so go check em out soon you won't forget it. Biggest downer of the night was hearing off the band that they were playing here again the following night with Snap Her and I could'nt make it Boo Hoo!
Peter Don't Care
Mike gives the Brummy punks some logic
The ice cold Carlsberg lager cost £2.00 a pint! Oppressed Logic don't bother sound checking before a gig. They must have accumulated hours of gig video footage, coz if Mike ain't shooting something the Roadie was. They stopped in a couple of German punks flats whilst on the Gereman leg of the tour. And all the Germans could say in English was "you can spit on the carpet if you want!" Mike got warned by Belgium Police about his spitting the first day he arrived in Europe. Todd Dammit doesn't wanna go home! Reason being he ain't gotta home to go home too. Mike decided my new name was Popeye...don't ask me why? He reckons I'm an old Sex Pistols bloke!
Oppressed Logic pre-gig...Gabe Skull, Mike Cyco logic and Adrienne Alvilez
Todd Dammit in that mask!
The gig was advertised in the local Metro newspaper which I found on the train coming to the gig. I showed it to Adrienne and she kept it as part of her Euro memorabilia. She had a crazy looking silver handbag that held all her worldly belongings. Her and Gabe didn't see eye to eye or was that just me? They travelled Europe using 17 Stitches touring van and Richie Cunningham's Car. Richie was a bit of a David Copperfield and had some good coin in the hand tricks to amuse em on long haul drives no doubt. I told gig promoter Mark Badger who also runs Iron Man Records that I didn't think much of the bands on his label so whats the excuse? He said well do you see many CD's in the shops you'd buy? Still don't think he answered my question? Gabe Skull plays in another band but I forgot which one? Todd Dammit is a founder member of the Shitgiveits when he ain't oppressiing people.
Mrs Avilez giving it some twang!
Oppressed Logic have aproximately 24 hours off when they return to the States before beginning another 'Califucknia tour' with Violent Society and Special Duties. The Snap-her show was dead. If it wasn't for Oppressed Logic being there and getting rowdy for Snap-her, there would have been 5 people watching them!. They played a full set of songs they didn't play at the previous gig
This gig was FREE and still poorly attended duh! apathy reigns!!!!