Review: Buddhist Punkz get the room bouncing

The upbeat and energetic Buddhist Punkz. Photographs: Ben Hughes
18 Feb 2014 @ 11.38 am
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The upbeat and energetic Buddhist Punkz. Photographs: Ben Hughes
The upbeat and energetic Buddhist Punkz. Photographs: Matt Seddon

Review: Buddhist Punkz
Venue: Fibbers, February 14

The idea of the Buddhist Punkz has been around for a while with members of The Freestylers and The Dub Pistols wanting an outlet for something a bit more metallic and band orientated.

Brothers and Freestylers members Dave and Rich Budgen on bass and guitar respectively hooked up with MC Sirreal from the Dub Pistols and the Buddhist Punkz were born.

With the guys other projects usually more accustomed to bigger venues and festival stages they now take leave of their day jobs and get back to their roots with some intimate club shows.

Blame it on the stormy weather or the fact that it’s Valentine’s night but Fibbers is not exactly heaving tonight, which is a shame because on tonight’s evidence Buddhist Punkz are the sort of band that could get a full room bouncing.

The cool MC Sirreal, decked in shades and glowing white trainers stalks the stage like a pro, is flanked by the shiny headed duo Dave and Rich. They play a fine set to an appreciative yet small crowd.

The band I’m sure are prepared for these sort of low attendance gigs in these hard times and they treat it no differently from a packed out room.

They claim to be Black Sabbath meets Rage Against The Machine and yes their urban street metal has definite elements of Rage going on in there. The beats are fast and the guitars metallic and in a live situation this four piece band work as well as they do on record.

The beats are fast and the guitars metallic
The beats are fast and the guitars metallic

The band are tight, seem happy and create that certain energy that we all look or hope for in a live band. A short but upbeat and energetic set follows.

The anthemic single No Shame is a fine slice of guitar driven noise that reminds me of The King Blues and pumps out of the speakers. Lyrically clued up and street ready it’s a fine introduction to the band if you so do wish to hunt it out.

Sirreal introduces Time To Leave asking the crowd not to take the title literally. It’s a song with a bass line that brings to mind Walking On Sunshine for some reason, but all thoughts of that are forgotten by the time the chorus comes.

It’s a punked up slice of noisy goodness and with Rich’s jagged guitar parts it hits all the right spots.

There’s always one nutter off their face on something at a gig and tonight is no different. One lad is loving the evening just a little bit more than anybody else here.

God knows what he was on but he was a non-stop ball of energy, dancing about, high-fiving the band, sweating profusely, fag tucked behind his ear and loving it.

He was harmless and happy, dancing around like York’s very own Bez and he definitely got his money’s worth tonight. I do believe he even pulled.

Now if all members of the audience acted like this dude at gigs rather than staring with arms folded the gigging world would be a better place.

Buddhist Punkz have the songs and they mix up their influences nicely. The likes of Money On The Side and Army Girl are catchy, heavy and danceable, bringing to mind Senser and King Blues rather than Sabbath to my ears, and it’s all good.

Of course they are not the first band to mix up old school hip-hop with rock and metal, but they do it well. I look forward to seeing and more of the Buddhist Punkz when their debut album hits the shelves.