Live Review: The Monofones / Snakerattlers / Bones Shake / Thee Windom Earles / The Red Stains – The Peer Hat, Manchester, UK, 30th January 2020

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The Monofones / Snakerattlers / Bones Shake / Thee Windom Earles / The Red Stains

The Peer Hat, Manchester, UK - 30th January 2020

It’s been a long long cold January that seems to have lasted longer than the whole of 2019, but finally the longest month in living memory is finally coming to an end and what better way to celebrate this than with a five band line up that is part of the joint headlining tour between Switzerland’s The Monofones and Yorkshire’s Snakerattlers, a tour that sees them team up for a short run of dates across across Northern England. The Monofones and Snakerattlers are joined by a trio of bands from the dark side of Manchester in the twisted shape of Bones Shake, Thee Windom Earles and The Red Stains, Tonight all five have descended into the sweaty basement of the The Peer Hat, a venue that has become a second home to the fuzzy, scuzzy and unsettling elements of Manchester’s live scene.

As ever the crowd in The Peer Hat is friendly and the bands are happy to lurk amongst those attending tonight’s Abattoir Blues Records run night celebrating everything that is unwholesome in rock ‘n roll. First up tonight is The Red Stains, squirly synths are augmented by brooding bass lines and vocals that are almost breathed before things slowly build up and all hell breaks loose, leaving me in no doubt why The Red Stains have built up a reputation as a live act, assisted by their unique guerrilla approach to publicity. This is stark experimental chaotic sarcastic political post punk that embraces the fury of the riot grrrrl movement, take the nihilism of early Public Image Ltd and focus that with a radical feminist viewpoint and an attitude that just screams fuck you and you have The Red Stains.

This is the first time I’ve caught Thee Windom Earles, a band who gatecrashed The Punk Site’s best of 2019 run down, since one of their very early gigs, the ragged garage punk of that early show has transformed into something far slicker, yet retaining their hedonistic excess that is their trademark. The reverb heavy surf vibes collide head on with primitive rock ‘n roll and the snotty attitude of the garage bands that populated the Pebbles compilations. Clad in creepers and monkey bones and with a half naked keyboard player in a silver wrestling mask and a triple guitar attack to die for, Thee Windom Earles are a Quentin Tarantino soundtrack without a movie. If you were wondering why a local garage band made our top 20, well tonight demonstrated exactly why they crashed the party, Thee Windom Earles have summoned the spirits of trashy rock ‘n roll and tonight they were mesmerising.

Bones Shake were a late and more than welcome addition to tonight’s line up, they bring their hell bound blues punk into the heady mix that is on offer this evening. As ever they boast thunderous beats and the dirtiest guitar riffs known to humanity, their frontman David Brennan is seemingly possessed tonight as he prowls the stage, walking a fine line that lies somewhere between serial killer and unhinged preacher. Bones Shake have steadily woven themselves into the fabric of the growing hedonistic underground scene in Manchester, one that celebrates everything that drew you to the dark side of rock ‘n roll in the first place. Bones Shake somehow cross boundaries between every genre that’s worth a damn, an essential part of the Abattoir Blues Records line up who boast a dark, dissonant, growling and menacing soundtrack that is perfect for 2020.

The Snakerattlers are an ever present on the UK’s live scene, the duo notched up over 70 gigs last year and the result of this is that they have distilled their primal rock ‘n roll down to its pure essence, primitive drum beats, distorted guitar and an unmistakable attitude that dares you to not be drawn into the devil’s music. The Snakerattlers channel the spirit of Link Way and “Songs The Lord Taught Us“, this is sinister rock ‘n roll that prowls on the edge of dark surf from a duo that have rock ‘n roll running though their veins, if you need evidence for this claim then consider that frontman Dan Gott’s brother is in Nosebleed. The Snakerattlers somehow combine the roots of rock ‘n roll with its future, whilst being equally faithful to both. No one else quite encapsulates the sneering original spirit of rock ‘n roll quite like this duo of Yorkshire Hellbillies.

The Monofones bring tonight’s line up to a close, by the time second song erupts fireworks are attached to guitars and they are wrapping up all of tonight’s influences into one perfect package of stripped back garage punk. Before they’ve hit the half way mark The Monofones are kicking out irresistible levels of energy and joy and are blurring the lines by embedding themselves into the crowd that is populating The Peer Hat late into Thursday night, including an impressive stage dive from guitarist Sir Hamesley who was carried clear across the venue and back to the stage again. Despite the late finish no one is leaving, buses and trains will be missed and no fucks will be given. The Monofones are the perfect band to end the first night of this all too brief tour that is making its way across the North of England.

The Abattoir Blues Records nights are becoming an unmissable fixture as they are stacked with original band’s doing what they do for all the right reasons. Add to this that the The Peer Hat is the kind of venue where you can put your drink down and know it’ll still be there and untainted when you return, coats can be abandoned and retrieved untouched after the bands have played and the ticket price is stupidly reasonable. After 40 days without live music tonight was the shot in the arm I needed to remind me exactly why I keep coming to shows and why The Punk Site and others like it exist, it’s simply because we love music and, like the bands, we can’t imagine not doing it or being part of it.

Live photography is by Gary Hough, his allthecoolbandsphotography website is located here and you can click on any of Gary’s photos to view a slide show of the images