ALBUM REVIEW: Spirit Of D.I.Y. Vol 3 (Punkboot Promotions)

Punkboot Promotions have been involved in the DIY punk and oi! scene for a few years now, as gig promoters, merch sellers and much more.

Based in Lancashire, they help bands from all over the UK and much further afield get their music out to more people.

In October 2019 they released the first instalment of Spirit Of D.I.Y., a compilation CD bringing together many of the bands they’ve worked with, and a second one followed in February this year.

Now, with lockdown preventing most bands from playing live, they have released Vol 3, and, like the first two, it’s full of great music. There’s bands old and new, with some tracks lifted from previous releases, and others which are exclusive to this album.

There’s 22 tracks in all, and more than half the bands were new to me, in as much as though I’d seen their name on posters and flyers, I’d never seen or heard them before.

All Out Attack. Pic: Gary Welford.

It’s like a musical tour of the UK’s punk and oi! underground, and shows that the scene is in very good shape, with some great bands out there, if you know where to find them. With live music all but a distant memory in these Covid-ravaged times, comps like this are a great way to find new bands.

Things kick off with one who I know and like very much, All Out Attack UK, from Newcastle, whose contribution Ghost Protocol is a popular part of their live set, but unreleased.

Three other North East bands are featured; excellent streetpunk band Boilermaker, from Darlington, contribute an unreleased track, Get Up Get Out; Sunderland’s punk ‘n’ rollers Loaded 44 with 5 Aces from last year’s Line Him Up EP, and County Durham’s political punks Zero Tolerance with Brotherhood from their self-titled mini album.

Boilermaker playing at the Black Bull in Gateshead. Pic: Gary Welford.

Warminster’s Boots N All’s 999 Emergency is a high-speed slice of impassioned oi!, while L.O.A.D., from Lowestoft, contribute Dead Heroes from their latest album Tattooes And Scars (reviewed here).

Criminal Justice from Huddersfield are an 80s band who reformed with most of their original line-up a couple of years ago, and their song Trepidation reminds me of Discharge.

Cuttin’ Edge, from Edinburgh, are a cross between Motorhead and GBH, and the breakneck Only The Strong Survive is one of the highlights of their debut album Face Down, released earlier this year.

Staying in Scotland, External Menace from Coatbridge, channel Iggy and The Stooges with Wanna Get Stoned.

Beki Straughan of Loaded 44 at Trillians in Newcastle. Pic: Gary Welford.

Foreign Legion from South Wales contribute Criminally Insane from their 2016 album Always Working Class, which I’ve just added to my wants list, while North Wales is represented by Spam Javelin, whose God Bless America is a rowdy slice of sub-hardcore.

Surgery Without Research have been going 20 years, but somehow I haven’t managed to catch them live. I must put that right, as soon as we’re all allowed out to play again. Their splendid Lining Up reminds us that “Goverments lie and the people die,” which seems very apt right now.

Radioactive Rats from Nottingham play hardcore metal punk, and their track Break The Silence is another which had me searching for their back catalogue, while Dead Objectives, from Manchester, play passionately-delivered anarcho-punk.

Zero Tolerance at the Black Bull. Pic: Gary Welford.

The Mighty Bossmags, from Warrington, and Londoners The Vegetable Collective fly the flag for ska-punk, while Stoke’s Wolf Bites Boy‘s Honour And Glory recalls the mighty Rancid.

Things take a continental twist with Divide And Conquer from Dutch oi! band Bent Out Of Shape’s 2020 Demo (reviewed here), and a track from Kurt 137, who hail from Toulouse in France, and very good they are too. The USA is also represented, by California’s NIXED.

After a few listens it’s a toss up between two tracks for my favourite on the album; noisy post-punks System Of Hate, from Barnsley, with Shadow Of The Cross, from last year’s There Is No Madness Here album, and Bolton five-piece May Contain Nuts, with Who You Gonna Listen To When The Damned Are Dead.

Cuttin’ Edge singer Roddy performing at the Black Bull. Pic: Gary Welford.

All in all, this is an excellent collection of some of the best D.I.Y. punk and oi! bands in the UK (and some from slightly further afield). It’s £7.50 from Punkboot Promotions, or you can get all three volumes for £20 HERE. Grab them while stocks last – you won’t regret it, and you’re guaranteed to find some great music. 8/10.

Gary Welford owner