Spunge + Fandangle + FTWL @ Academy 2, Birmingham – 12th March 2009


The night started with FTWL (Follow The White Line) which I sadly missed all but the last which was a bit controversial as, from what I saw of them, they were very loud, very heavy and didn’t really fit the bill as the other two bands were very ska punk and these boys were just too heavy to fit the bill but the crowd seemed to enjoy it with a crazy moshpit kicking off, so in a way they got the crowd warmed up.

Next up were the ska punk guys from Fandangle, who were one member down, who happened to be the lead singer, so the guitarist took his place. People who had seen the band before would have known but I hadn’t so if he hadn’t of said I would have never guessed. These guys were so crowd friendly they had everything and more needed for a ska punk band. There was a brass section – trumpet, sax and trombone, guitars, drums and even a keyboard with skank written on the bottom of it, which the player waved at the crowd, which worked with lots of skanking taking place. There were mics in front of every band member which was great as they all got so into the set which was good to see from such a large group who were minus their front man. The highlight of their set in my eyes was the very good cover of Sublime’s What I’ve Got, which the crowd sang their hearts out to. The stage and crowd were set for Spunge.


So out they walk, to some cheesy 1950’s tune. The crowd-started skaing the second the band started playing. The band announced that Brum was their second home and this really set the pace for the entire set – lots of skanking lots of jumping and lots of fists in the air. This is their 15 year anniversary and the guys then dropped a few covers into the set starting with their very own version of No Woman No Cry which got the whole room moving (not that it needed much help as every one in the room was having a good time).


Another two covers were then dropped in for good measure, Land Down Under and J Geils Band’s Centrefold, which the band covered so well! In amongst the covers some old favourites were dropped into the mix such as Kicking Pigeons and Jump on Demand. During the performance of Kicking Pigeons some of the guys from Fandangle joined them on stage and there was a good sized circle pit for the song White House. This song was interrupted for a Jaeger break which both the crowd and band enjoyed.


The set was ended with The Skanking Song, which was a very fitting end to a ska gig. Both Fandangle and Spunge owned the room with amazing crowd support and I would say the only let down was the lighting for the photographers but overall a very energetic fun filled gig.


Review – Richard Brake
Photos – Michelle Ballard


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