By Francis Fitzgerald
The Green Room is the little brother of the Georgian Theatre in Stockton-On-Tees. It is one of those small venues that are vital to the nurturing of new music. On Friday night it played host to the Wingz of The Monkey who were celebrating the release of their new single ‘The Accuser’. Everyone was invited to this party, but even though it was full it seemed that most of those attending were personal friends of one or more of the young bands on the bill. So a riotous, yet convivial and intimate party atmosphere was guaranteed. Indeed the moshing began after just a few minutes into the first set delivered by Rare Breed who treated us to a set of lively pop punk tunes. The frontman’s occasional guitar soloing forays into the crowd warmed them up for what was to come.
Next, it was Jam Tub, who seemed to be on a mission to prove that Punk’s not dead. The sneering attitude, the look and the sound all came together to deliver the spirit of 1977 reincarnated and revamped. The lead vocal/guitarist played and sang some anthemic tuneage, whilst the athletic bass player jumped around making all the right poses and kept the rhythm perfectly along with the powerful drums. My favourite of the set was ‘Riverside’.
The night belonged to Wingz of the Monkey. I mentioned earlier the youth of the bands, and the ages of WOTM range from 15 to 18. Teenage Kicks indeed. Listening to them, you would think they were a lot more experienced. Influences from grunge, punk and metal inform their sound which is fresh and direct. Patrick on vocals bears some resemblance to Jagger circa 1960s, but his voice has the sandpaper/ gravel quality of Cobain. With Sonny on guitar, Logan on bass and Edward on drums, the band delivered a blistering set that had the crowd eating out of their hand. Patrick occasionally sharing his mike with them; they knew the lyrics by heart. He even invited one of them onto the stage for an impromptu duet. In fact the audience were possibly the most important item on the bill. They gave everything in the moshpit, and really made this as much a party as a gig to remember.