16th November | Crofters Rights
Gork seemed to be pulling out all the stops in celebration of their EP release. The archway to Crofters Rights was decorated with foil helium balloons spelling out ‘GORK’. It felt a bit cultish but then again, I was open to joining The Church Of Gork. There was a spread of party rings and Twiglets which were free upon entry; party hats were given out to punters to get involved in the birthday action.
A double whammy of supports got our taste buds – along with the party rings – well and truly tingling for Gork. Serenading us with anarchist punk tunes, trio Grandma’s House delivered high-energy anthems with a relevant political agenda. “Fuck Tory Britain,” they announced, before hurtling into ‘No Place Like Home’. Seeping with Black Flag influences and catchy choruses – albeit that a majority of their songs did repeat the chorus an awful lot – they definitely hit home.
Twisted Ankle then arrived on stage and turned the camaraderie up to the absolute max. If Napoleon Dynamite and Alan Partridge were to form a band, then you can be pretty certain Twisted Ankle are a close embodiment. Jerky movements, a wandering drummer weaving through the crowd asking if any of us had seen his bird, and a bassist who broke his strap from jamming too hard. It all seems like a surreal Eric Andre sketch. Twisted Ankle were unpredictable, melding a plethora of clashing genres together to make a furious noise concoction. An awful lot of their stage time was spent bantering around, but it was enjoyable to witness and did make us chuckle.
Then the main event was underway; all members of Gork were wearing over-sized suits and braces, as if they’d just rocked up after their office day jobs. Gork are much more than a gimmick, though. They had hilarious lyrics which had us in stitches, along with pretty insane musicianship. The constant shift between tempos and even genres, travelling from balls-to-the-wall-Tony-Hawk-Soundtrack-punk to double-time swing. They’re a band to be heard as well as seen.
‘Weird Decisions’ was all about, yep, weird decisions. Ever used cheese as soap? The three-part harmonies were joyous to witness. The juxtaposition between grown men in creased, over-sized suits and singing majestically like choirboys was a spectacle in itself. At one point, I clocked the guitarist drinking a tube of Mini Cheddars whilst a cowbell was taped around his stomach.
The entire gig felt like a pantomime, with the band constantly pulling faces and ad-libbing during instrument changes. Along with one of the guitarist spitting water into the crowd, replicating that of Iggy Pop behaviour. Their Ramones-meets-The-Office aesthetic is a sight to be seen. Their show was an audio and visual wonderland and Gork are a tour de force of fun. It’s been a long time since a gig was this entertaining.
See the video for ‘That’s Plastic, Mate’ here: