The Peer Hat, Manchester, UK29th April 2017
By AJ Phink
Get Fucked is an all day, and well into the following morning, event bought to us by Atomic Catfight and Abattoir Blues Records, a combination that promises a full day of primitive rock & roll that features nine acts from the primal swamp of the UK’s underground blues, garage and punk scenes that appropriately is taking place in the basement venue that is The Peer Hat, that is located on the edges of Manchester’s fashionable Northern Quarter. The bands appearing at the inaugural Get Fucked festival are diverse to say the least, but all with one common goal, to deliver dirty distorted rock ‘n roll that is in no way designed to save anyone’s soul.
Get Fucked has put together a line up of punked up blues, garage, psych and punk rock that is irresistible to those of us that grew up on a diet of punks adrenaline fuelled charge, the hallucinatory elements of the garage revival scene and whatever other strange creatures emerged from the underground and promised the illicit pleasures that the original hell bound spirit of rock ‘n roll offered. Tonight’s line up includes The Hipshakes, Uncle Jane, Tensheds, The 99 Degree, The Maitlands, The Jungfraus, GUTS, Death Vignettes, Hopper Propelled Electric and music provided by the esteemed Wet Dreams DJ’s.
Get Fucked has nine bands playing each getting a half hour slot, the perfect way to organise a festival with no pretensions, just nine slots of punked up garage, psyche and blues with DJ sets playing the best tunes from the last six decades of rock ‘n roll’s dark underbelly. First up are The Hipshakes and after a brief tune up they launch into their opening slot of adrenaline fuelled garage. The energy levels are already off the chart on their first number, and then stay there. They deliver raw distorted garage that is born of the MC5 and The Stooges with a raw amphetamine fused punk edge that on occasion borders on hardcore intensity, The Hipshakes show exactly how to start a festival.
After a another short DJ set from Wet Dreams, that includes the legendary purveyors of fucked up rock n roll, The Cramps, The Maitlands take to the stage, they bring a cross between raw punked up rock ‘n roll and 60s beat that is tinged with the spirit of 77. The Maitlands have brought their sparkling self penned fucked up pop songs to Get Fucked and they build on the foundations laid by The Hipshakes by maintaining the adrenaline charged rush and combining this with a distinctly Mancunian sensibility, and already at this early stage of the day I can’t help thinking that the inaugural Get Fucked Festival is shaping up to be something very special.
The intriguingly named Uncle Jane are next, and they deliver a set of fucked up rock ‘n roll than channels The Sonics, The Mummies and the bands that populated the legendary Pebbles albums. This a rawer more primitive sound than the previous bands, and they are a welcome addition to Get Fucked and capture the spirit of the evening perfectly with bass heavy set that’s laced with lysergic guitar riffs. Tensheds follow and take Get Fucked down a different path with their intense drum and keyboard combination, but despite the lack of any stringed instruments they continue to channel the spirit of Get Fucked in a manner that makes me think of the Dresden Dolls having a head on collision with Nick Cave and Tom Waits.
Next up is the bastard blues of GUTS, a band that I made a promise to that I would catch them again when I briefly saw them supporting The Bellrays last year, it might take me a while but I keep my promises. GUTS play a set that is the epitome of what Abattoir Blues Records are about, the heart and soul of blues with the attitude and spirit of punk rock, to me they sound even rawer than when I first encountered them. They cross the experimental side of Captain Beefheart with the grunt of blues, and the cocktail is completed by a punk attitude and delivery that makes their dark intense serial killer blues the perfect soundtrack to the midway point of Get Fucked.
Hopper Propelled Electric deliver a charged alt rock set that recalls Queens Of The Stone Age, in their substance fuelled prime, combined with the primal hedonistic spirit of rock ‘n roll. Their charged set brings yet another facet to tonight’s event and as with every other act tonight you can’t help but be impressed with the DIY spirit that is ever present today. Tonight has been a credit to Manchester’s alternative music scene, the bands playing Get Fucked avoid the clichéd Mancunian references and they all choose their own influences, despite all the bands playing tonight having their own sound and style there is a common unifying theme of the hedonistic qualities of rock ‘n roll.
The 99 Degree bring a set of fucked up spaghetti western influenced garage and this is the last set they’ll play before the release of their eagerly awaited Boot Hill Surf Club EP. Ominous echo heavy tones precede The 99 Degree launching a energetic set that channels the spirit of the old West combined with the reverb and echo heavy trashy garage that makes them one of Manchester’s most idiosyncratic bands. No one else does anything even remotely close to what The 99 Degree are doing, they deliver a mutant hybrid of everything that’s worth a damn in rock ‘n roll, and for me they are the closest thing you’ll get to the untamed spirit of the garage punk origins of The Cramps.
The penultimate act is Death Vignettes who have reformed for a one off performance for the inaugral Get Fucked, they channel everything that Abattoir Blues Records are about, dirty nasty punked up blues played exactly as it oughta be. Death Vignettes make as much noise as it’s possible to extract from one guitar and drums, and they produce a sound that makes other two pieces outfits, such as The White Stripes, sound like an unplugged performance. Death Vignettes come across as nothing less than the personification of the primal howl that signified the birth of rock ‘n roll.
The final act is The Jungfraus, their set is largely culled from the impressive KRAAK album that is now available as a pay what you want download. They bring a heady element to the final set of Get Fucked, they channel sixties garage, psyche, alt rock and alternative influence to create an impressive mind altering combination that makes for a fitting finale to the live acts that have graced the first Get Fucked festival. Tonight has been perfect, everything from the venue, the friendly and good natured crowd, along with every single band that played tonight and with the faultless DJ set from Wet Dreams that was the perfect accompaniment to the tonight’s nine triumphant live sets.
There is a sequel to Get Fucked planned and I can’t wait for this to happen, as tonight has been a perfect combination of the music and attitudes that informed and shaped punk rock. For me today has possessed more attitude and rebellion than the established punk festivals, it channels the roots and captures the attitude of what made us fall in love with music in the first place. If you didn’t attend this then you should make a point of being at the next Get Fucked if you can as this will probably be amongst my favourite shows of the year. We came, we saw, we got fucked, and I can’t wait for the next time
The Abattoir Blues Records website can be found here
The Atomic Catfight Facebook page is here
Tensheds website can be found here
Live photography by Michael Maffia, you can click on any of Mike’s photos to view a slide show of the images