Dugstock 2017 – Saturday – Goober-Patrol, The Murderburgers, Pizza Tramp, Coral Springs, MUG, No Matter, Eat Defeat, Billy Liar, Dowzer, Burnt Tapes, Launch Control, Tragical History Tour
Date: 15th April 2017
Venue: New Cross Inn, London
The first day of Dugstock was a success and went fairly smoothly, on small hitch due to the headliners sadly having to pull out, otherwise, you could have called the event flawless, it was still a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon.
“First act of the day, asshole acoustic guy” chimed Derrick Johnston, who performs as Tragical History Tour. I’ll be the first to admit I’m not entirely into acoustic sets, but Johnston grabbed my attention with his punk-fueled performance. Up-tempo strums fronted by a course voice for the most part to some political topics, but he had some sombre and more melodic segments to mix things up. It was early in the day, a 1:45 pm start time meant that not many people were in to see the set, but the small crowd was still very enthusiastic to the set. It was a rather enjoyable opener. (7)
Launch Control followed up with their post-2006 era Anti-Flag influenced melodic punk. A Highly energetic, performance with intricate musicianship and some entertaining showmanship. The guitarist liked to run around the stage a fair bit and jump around, while the bassist was doing his best Chris #2 impression with ear-pricking basslines and his quite rough singing voice which remained anthemic in the choruses. The highlight came from a cover of NOFX track, ‘Murder The Government’, that quite a few people were happy to sing along to. (7.5)
Following on from what was a popular theme the day before and a theme that kept flowing throughout day two was the abundance of skate punk that would fit right at home on Fat Wreck Chords and Epitaph. The Burnt Tapes fell right into this category with their upbeat fast punk-rock attitude. It worked perfectly with the sun shining through the windows as the band rocked out more crunchy riffs and bouncy beats. It was all out happy vibes with the great sing-along segments. Slowly, but surely the crowd was growing too and it was starting to feel more like a show at this point. (7.5)
A bright red headed acoustic guitarist by the name of Billy Liar took to the stage with what started out as a fairly sombre affair. A slow Bob Dylan-esque ballad with repeated lyrical segments performed with a vacant look in the singer’s eye. This is the kind of acoustic song that I’m not particularly a fan of, but the rest of the set picked up the pace much like Tragical History Tour‘s did and became a lot more satisfying. We even had a mass “woah” sing-a-long. The set was pretty similar to the opener in relation to the upbeat strums and between-song humour, Liar liked the ramble a fair bit. But, this set was a nice break as he was sandwiched by more energetic bands. (7.5)
Dutch pop-punks, Dowzer, doused us with a chirpy pop-punk mood. Pulling in influences from the early 00s, this is exactly how I imagined what it would be like if you chucked Blink 182, Sum 41, New Found Glory and Bowling For Soup in a blender. It’s the same infectiously catchy nature with overly happy melodies mixed with some harder hitting riffs and teenage/young adult angst. Performance wise, Dowzer were punchy and delivered a fun atmosphere much like The Burnt Tapes. (8)
Eat Defeat changed the entire dynamic of what was already a wonderful occasion to a full blown fun frenzy. How did they do this? Beach balls, lots of them. It was beach ball mania as four punks dressed like they belong in Hawaii took to the stage in flowery shirts and shorts with a surfboard for a backdrop. Performing an uplifting set of tracks from their 2016 EP, ‘Time & Tide’, Eat Defeat thrashed out a fairly swift set of modern pop-punk hits due to taking a while to set up. To be fair most of us were distracted by the beach balls as they flew around the room, but the combination of the fast-paced punk music and activities really perked up the tone of the show. (8.5)
No Matter followed with a completely 90s punk-rock feel, combining the elements that pushed punk into the mainstream by sounding like ‘Dookie’-era Green Day and ‘Smash’-era The Offspring. Switching between male and female singers, the male vocalist even sounded a bit like Billie Joe Armstrong. The Irish band provided us with a joyous undertone as they unleashed upbeat guitar rhythms and enthusiastic vocal melodies that had portions of the crowd dancing around. It was a simple formula that takes me back to when I discovered this kind of music and No Matter performed it with great precision. (8)
Müg took to the stage for the second time at this year’s Dugstock, in which they performed a set of their own material this time. Taking a similar approach to No Matter, Müg unleashed their usual, even faster and punchier style of punk-rock which was dominated by intricate basslines and a harder hitting attitude. More beach balls flew around the room and even the Müg mascot Dug, a foam skull with a Union Jack was seen bouncing around the venue. Vocalist Mat even told us the story about how the band once lost Dug and how they found him again with the Union Jack painted on several months later. Another brilliant and entertaining set from the Müg guys. (8)
The venue was starting to look really full by now, which was great for Coral Springs. They were the second Dutch offering of the day, promoting their brand of modern pop-punk in the ilk of Neck Deep and The Story So Far. They had a vibrant tone to them, cheerful hooks on top of plenty of down-tuned riffs and some post-hardcore melodies were fronted by the powerful singing voice of leading lady Jo. It was nice and bouncy and a decent portion of the audience was bobbing about. The band had an extremely friendly aura to them between songs as they chatted to the crowd. (8.5)
Pizza Tramp, however, followed up with a much more “in your face” style of hardcore punk. After hearing their 2016 album ‘Blowing Chunks’, this was probably the set I was most excited for all weekend and they didn’t disappoint as they unleashed hard hitters like ‘Town Clown’ and ‘CCTV’. The singing guitarist kept heckling his bandmates to “just play it fast”, which got funnier the more he said it. The funniest moment came from ‘Hope You Die’ where there lyrics are just, “I Hope You Fucking Die”. The band repeated the song again with rehashed lyrics “I’m glad you didn’t die” due to the fact the bassist recently had a heart attack. The band repeated the song again with the lyrics “I know your name is Al” to one of the audience members. Everyone sang along to the stupidly entertaining words. It was high-octane, aggressive, a wave of short fast songs and completely attention grabbing. Definitely one of the best sets of the weekend. (9)
I sadly missed most The Murderburgers due a food break gone wrong. I didn’t anticipate that my order at the chicken shop two doors down would take so long. Though what I did catch of the Scottish punks looked wild. A rowdy crowd at the front, rocking out to high-speed pop-punk anthems. It looked fun and that everyone was enjoying the set
Goober-Patrol appear to be legends of the underground punk rock scene, enough so that before this show I wasn’t familiar with the band or the name, yet everyone was hyped for the Yorkshire men. “This is the veterans section of the show” chimed one of the members as he joked about being a much older band than every other act. What the band produced was a similar stance to Spoilers the night before, plenty of old-school punk influences with a modern twist, even throwing in some ska rhythms. The crowd reacted strongly with lots of chants, dancing around and some mosh pits opened for good measure. It was the liveliest I saw the crowd all weekends relentless and the venue was packed out. People were even standing on the benches so they could see and chants of “Goober” repeated through the set. A personal highlight was hearing a punk cover of the traditional Spiderman theme tune. It was a great way to end the weekend. (9)
My afterthoughts is that overall this was a great couple of days for Umlaut to show off their roster and play a show with some mates, bringing the DIY punk scene together. Most of this bill I wasn’t familiar with, a few hooking names grabbed my interest prior to the event. But, every act impressed me in some respect, nobody put on a bad show and everyone was entertaining. It was a ‘Matesfest’ atmosphere as all the bands seemed to know each other in some way. The running theme of skate punk, but the variety of styles were in to keep things fresh and not entirely the same for 20 acts.
I should also comment on the venue in how much nicer it looks than last June, the toilets have been moved to downstairs, and they look so much more welcoming too than your standard grimy venue toilets. Where the toilets used to be is a seating area to chill out at. The little things make it so more appealing.
Our review for Friday