If you’re from Manchester and you like punk rock, what’s the perfect warm up activity to prepare you for Rancid in two days’ time at the Manchester Academy? All answers point to what’s going on tonight at The Star and Garter.

With a sound that’s reminiscent of Strung Out and Propagandhi, Fair Do’s are lightning fast but zig-zag profusely with sharp technical riffs. Whilst they are a tight unit and definitely help thaw things out in the ice cold room their sound is probably too familiar; in other words, they wear their influences on their sleeves so much that they almost sound like they’re aping them off. Regardless, the four-piece are definitely an entertaining outfit that opens the night in full swing. (3.5/5)

Coming out of the back alley are street punks Hated Til Proven who are so ferociously fast they have enough urgency and rabid hunger to melt your brain with your consciousness intact. Even though the band do keep things interesting with a ska rhythm here and a mind dizzying solo there, it does feel as though each song suffers from the usual punk problem that each song dissolves into the same mould but that’s probably a miniature triumph for the band. (3/5)

Despite being fairly quiet this year, tonight’s headliners Random Hand make such silence mute when they drop the curtain and start playing to their audience. The Ska-core kings from Leeds cause nothing short of a skank-mosh hybrid frenzy amongst their fans, who bounce off of each in utter carnage during ‘Anthropology’ and dance the night away when the band drop the ‘life so fragile’ messages of ‘Bones’. The unthinkable riddle of when this constant buzz will stop never shows it’s face as the night carries onward, in fact the only idea that comes to mind is if this moment, the here and now is a dream; the climax of ‘Anger Management’ featuring a crowd surf from lead vocalist/trombonist Robin Leitch sure enough brings one back to reality and provides the dire answer to this question. Random Hand, let’s hope you play more shows in 2013! (4/5)


Words by Aaron Lohan (@ooran_loohan)

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