The venue at the Vic Inn is in the basement of a town centre pub and is what you would call “intimate”. Tonight it plays host to three bands – Brazilian punks The Water Rats, Midlands punk rockers Max Raptor and Yorkshire pop-punk chaps Brawlers. Three completely different bands plus one cosy little room adds up to a fun night.

Arriving as Brazilian boys Water Rats are barrelling towards the end of their set one must give them credit for making the journey from Brazil to play in some of the UK’s lesser played towns. Raucous and rowdy punk rock is the order of the day here – throw in lots of smiles and lots of jokes in broken English and you have a band who it is impossible not to like.

Max Raptor are next up and show why they’re so highly rated amongst the UK scene. Smashing through their nine song set, the Midlands band are in absolutely outstanding form. From opener “The Great And The Good” through to set closer “The King Is Dead”, the quartet have the attention of everybody in this small room. Sure, they may not be playing to a packed out venue but that doesn’t deter the band from throwing themselves around the stage/dancefloor as they continue to live up to their reputation.

It’s party time next as Leeds punks the Brawlers take to the stage armed with a bottle of Amaretto, a bag of smiles and a sackful of bouncy punk rock tunes. Clearly a band who love getting in a van and travelling the length and breadth of the country to bash out their brand of gritty, infectious punk rock, the Brawlers are simply just great fun to watch live.

Also rattling through a nine-song set mainly culled from their recently released Romantic Errors Of Our Youth album, the likes of “Annabel” and “Two Minutes” are short sharp blasts of British pop punk that has everyone from the members of the Water Rats to the staff behind the bar forgetting about their troubles to dance the evening away without a care in the world. Is it wrong to wish that all gigs were this much fun?


I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.