So last Friday I went along with the mother-ship to see a punk rock outfit in Peter Frampton Cotterel. That’s right, peaceful Peter was about to be cranked up to eleven thanks to a band called Dive and a group of unassuming runners. Where better than to host this curious sounding fund raiser? The Royal British Legion of course!
Take it as you will but the Queen did not attend the festivities however we did hear that around 120 tickets were sold for the event and the money raised from these ticket sales have gone towards charities that deal with physical and neurological issues (this is our way of saying that we can’t remember what charities they were). The marathon runners that organised the event regularly partake in runs to raise money for their chosen charities. Something that NONE of us here at Shonk HQ could ever consider doing, we’re just too unfit.
There was some concern as we heard that apparently there had been sound complaints during the sound check from neighbouring buildings. The band didn’t seem phased and I figured that if they were as non-conformist as they looked then they’d probably just turn it back up regardless.
The time came and they made it onto stage, their concerns over the whereabouts of their guitarist soothed by his sudden re-appearance. For Paul Thomas the drummer this was his first gig with the band so the pressure was on. Dive themselves have been established since 1998 (this is when the bassist tells me he borrowed the bass he was still using) but recently their previous drummer had to hang up his drum sticks for other pursuits like Triffid breeding and cone counting.
They kicked off in a non-typical punk manner with front lady (lady sounds a bit too formal but I don’t want to patronise with ‘girl’) Sarah ‘not-related-to-Elvis’ Presley announcing that she was nervous! Before banging out three straight tracks and warming up into what was a very epic gig.
Each self-written punk, ska, ballad, rock combination track was punchy, tight and aided by well written music and bollock grabbing vocals. Imagine if Blondie had played harder, heavier, faster, better and with more enthusiasm and you’re on the right track. Elements of Television and other Ceebee Geebee bands alluded from the tracks but they remained entwined with Dive’s tenacious punk driven undertones, overtones and midrange tones. All the tones.
Considering it felt like we were in UKIP territory just waiting for an army of five foot tall tweed wearing manor house living thundertwats to burst through the door and sentence us all to death for listening to DEVIL MUSIC the crowd enjoyed themselves and gave appropriate proclamations of applause between tracks even if they didn’t get up and dance.
I was also very grateful that the bar sold fresh rolls and chocolate, I was so hungry.
Dive is definitely a band that I would recommend going to see, without this sounding the wrong way it was like seeing a ropey punk band but hearing them like so many bands think they sound. In other words all the pre-cursors of a garage band that ‘do a bit of this and that’ tend to lead to the conclusion of ‘shit’. But in this instance you will be pleasantly surprised, entertained and knackered from throwing yourself around.
They ended with a fantastic cover of (funnily enough) a Blondie track, the one with all the drum rolls in it. Top notch cover it was too.
For Paul’s début gig he was on form, a human metronome if you will. I credit him for his discipline in that, if I was adopted as a new drummer I would most definitely try and show off at all costs. Paul remained controlled and didn’t drum any more than he had to. Thus providing fantastic rolls and fills that went far more noticed than if he did it on every other beat.
If you get chance read our Boomtown review because they’re playing there this year and hopefully the two pieces will convince you to come along to!
(All photos courtesy of Ooh La La photography)