Spunge have been around now for 19 years, and have come to that point in their career where they want to put out a greatest hits, but not in the normal way, no, they want fan input to decide the setlist so they can re-record classic songs and make give them back to the old fans and introduce new fans to the best of the band. So they’re doing a few gigs like tonight to spread the word about the album and also to show people there not dead yet!
The venue is a lovely little venue in a side street in Kidderminster, it’s got a nice bar, friendly staff and it’s all open at the sides to make the hot summer breeze float throughout, instead of making it boiling hot and unbearable. The gig is a late one, so the one and only support band gets on stage at half 9 and rocks a set of covers, but not normal covers…. No this band does bread related covers!
Sister Sandwich, are a local 4 piece who’s lead singer dresses with tartan trousers, googly eye glasses and with a giant sandwich costume over the top. They do rock and pop covers including Lady Gaga’s Poker Face, The Ramones Blitzkrieg Bop and a cover of Ricky Martins Living La Vida Loca which the lyrics are changed to Living In A Toaster. They’re a cheesy cover band, but it gets the crowd rocking, everyone is smiling and dancing along, they even join in with the singing in the more punkier songs but some songs are a miss, as I suppose it’s hard to get a room of punk fans to sing along to a cover of One Directions You Don’t Know Your Beautiful. They play a nice set and get the spirits up ready for the main act.
Spunge take to the stage at 11, they set up their own equipment and as they’ve been milling around most of the evening no-one pays much attention to them until lead singer Alex Copeland says “Hey we’re ready now, everyone who’s having a fag outside get in here as where about to start” this then gets the room full to brim as people appear from all different areas of the building to see the main band play a great set. They kick things off with 2 tracks from Pedigree Chump; Lyrical Content and Idols before going into chart hit Roots. They sound great in this small venue, with the upbeat hard hitting drums smashing across the room, mixed with the funky bass and fast rich guitar all with Alex’s gravely clear vocals on top. The crowd get into the swing of things and jump around like crazy, bouncing into the small stage and each other, with the less crazy people dancing on tables towards the rear of the room. The set contains lots of great songs that are bound to be on the greatest hits, but with them letting the fans decide we could have a comeback off songs from the first album or even a load from their last self-titled album. They play Backstabber, Skaking Song, Nothing At All, Ego, No Woman No Cry, Jump, Some Suck Some Rock and few others. The audience loves every second but you get a few people who are a bit too anxious for that one song, and keep chanting “Kicking Pigeons” between every song, but Spunge take it in their stride and make jokes between songs; especially bassist Jarv who brings the taste down as he makes jokes about periods and paedophiles as the rest of the band cringe and apologise for him, but it’s all good fun! The time comes and they play Kicking Pigeons much to the crowds delight and then by the end of the song the stage is full of fans jumping and singing along, but it’s not over yet, the crowd clears the stage and Spunge play a cover of Centrefold before calling it a night. The crowd chants we want more and eventually they come back to the stage and announce how they don’t normally do encores but how they’ll do it tonight seeing as everyone’s been so great and they finish the night on a high with everyone happy, hot and sweaty.
Spunge stick around and sign people’s tickets and albums and continue to spread the word about their Pledgemusic greatest hits project, so fans will go on the site and donate to the project where they will be guaranteed the album along with other limited items along with t-shirts and cd’s, the band are that passionate about the project that they didn’t bring any merch to the gig as they’d rather fans go out and pledge than buy a t-shirt on the night.
So tonight was a great gig, a late one but a great one. The band are still on top form even after 19 years! If they’re playing near you on one of these small dates they go and check them out as they’re great in a small venue and if not, they’ve got a big full UK tour in November at bigger venues(where they also sound awesome)! So if you’re in the mood for some Ska Punk just remember to go and see Spunge, as they’re not dead yet!