Punktoberfest is a unique all day punk festival which is now in it’s third year and growing rapidly in popularity. With audience members traveling from all over the UK to watch some of Europe’s finest Punk bands (and possibly win tattoo vouchers from event sponsor Rock’n’Roll Tattoos) at Dundee’s Beat Generator Live, it was set to be a very interesting day for the cackblabbath.online team.
The first part of the day’s entertainment came before we even arrived at the venue! As a gesture of true cackblabbath.online kindness, we had offered to give guitarist Drew Cochrane (Overdose) a lift to the festival and he, in true punk rock style was nursing a rather horrendous hangover and threatening to be sick in the car at any given moment. Bets were already being placed as to whether he would make it to the stage or not…
Once inside the venue, we arrived just as the first band up on the main stage were kicking off; Love Nasty from just down the road in Brechin. Unfortunately due to camera malfunctions we only caught the very end of the Angus lads’ set but from what we heard, they were an excellent start to the day and even though it was still early they set about drawing the crowd in and getting the place warmed up.
Next up were the fantastic Overdose, featuring one very hungover guitarist, his father and man of the day, organiser Andy Cochrane and the fantastic Ed Middleton on bass and vocals. Being a local Dundee band they were an obvious favourite with the crowd and many cries of “Mon the Overdose” were heard between songs. Unfortunately for our amusement’s sake, not only did Drew manage to stay composed for the entirety of his stage time, he also contributed to an absolute blinder of a set… what a pro! This was the first time we have seen Overdose live, but it wouldn’t be the last time of the night for Andy and Ed on stage as both would be making an appearance later on in the evening with The Eddies.
The time had now come for the second stage action to begin and there was no one better for the job than Fifers Salem Street. These guys were one of our firm favourites of the day and despite their tender years they really held their own among the more seasoned rockers strutting their stuff at Punktoberfest. They have was a real NOFX sound and if you team this with a drummer who is ridiculously talented for his age you have all the ingredients for something a little bit special.
Definitely a young Scottish band to keep an eye out for and a tough act to follow.
The tough task of following Salem Street fell to Fraserburgh’s Skizofrenik. The thing that really shines through out about this band is their love for what they do, every song was played with complete passion, and their cover of ‘I Don’t Wanna Know If You Are Lonely’ by Green Day (if you’re under 40, or Husker Du if you’re not) was a massive hit with the crowd. Couldn’t quite shake the impression that there was a slight imbalance between the abilities of the vocalists though, which did hamper their performance in places – All being said though, a thoroughly enjoyable set from another young Scottish band.
What was fast becoming clear to us was that Scotland has an awful lot of talent in the Punk scene, and that this festival is a fantastic showcase of bands who really do deserve recognition in the scene. The next couple of bands we saw, Subvision and Fake were probably the least Punk bands of the night, displaying much more of a metal feel, however both still went down an absolute storm with the crowd.
Choosing to play their “most appropriate songs” as they put it, Fake in particular were very impressive with a solid display of flawless drumming and good humour from Ian Sherriff.
Next up were a band who, without a doubt, stole the night for us: Garden Gang who had come all the way across from Germany. This crazy bunch of individuals displayed such energy and passion on stage and treated us to such catchy, upbeat songs it was impossible not to be jumping around the room within seconds. Not only do these guys look good on stage they sound incredible and were for us and absolute gem of a find.
You are definitely urged to check them out if you fancy something just a little different.
As the night raged on and we plouged our way through more and more cans of cider in a desperate attempt to keep up with the rest of the crowd, we were treated to one of the most anticipated bands of the night, The Eddies. Playing on the main stage to a now completely packed out venue there was a definite sense of excitement and love for these local heroes.
Well established on the local scene, their set of catchy crowd pleasers went down incredibly well. Highlights included a fantastic cover of Judas Priest’s ‘Breaking The Law’ and their own ‘Freak Show’, which involved all band members adorning rather terrifying masks.
Now we are reaching the point of the night where the volume of alcohol consumed was starting to take effect and the bands appeared to be getting punkier and angrier. Award for the angriest band of the night goes to Birmingham’s Drongos For Europe who had plenty to shout about the Tories and the privatisation of the Royal Mail among any other topic you could possibly rant about. Nearing the end of the night we had Loaded 44 who feature the beautiful Beki on vocals, who’s powerful voice and stage presence had the Dundee eating out of the palm of her hands from the off.
The final band of what has been a complete success of a night were The Lurkers. Hitting the stage at 11.30pm and playing to a capacity crowd of the Punk faithful, many who had been drinking for a good ten hours now… Well you can imagine the atmosphere! What better way to end an incredible day with a band than with a passionate and energetic set that had the punters crammed into Beat Generator (literally) bouncing off the walls.
Punktoberfest 3 was an absolute joy to be at. There are a load of festivals all over the UK, with new ones springing up almost every week, but this was special, a proper one of a kind event. This is most definitely a festival which is set to grow and grow and 100% worth checking out next year.
It’s true what they say you know, Punk’s definitely not dead.