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Pete Bentham & The Dinner Ladies, Bannerman's, Edinburgh

  • Written by  Debbie Sheringham


It appears to be a quiet night at Bannerman's as The Fnords take to the stage, not that they let this deter them. As a stripped back Edinburgh three piece garage punk band with a definite surf edge, their sound is reminiscent of trashy garage bands on labels like Pin-Up / Rip-Off Records back in the early '90s (jeez, was it THAT long ago!). However, not wanting to place them into a nice neat box, they exceed this sound by bringing their own charm to the party.

They launch with much attitude into ‘Non-Verbal Adjective Agreement’, from the 2011 LP Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Fnords, followed by more twangy numbers such as instro ‘Taxidancer’,  ‘Do the Trotsky’ and ‘Scumbaby’.   

There are also a few excellent covers in the mix, notably instro-screamer ‘Daddy Love’ (by The Trashwomen), and ‘I Like To Die’ (by The Drags). On a few occasions vocalist Sarah looks over at bassist Caz; "We’ll try and get through this next one..." she laughs nervously, but they always do get through it, and pull it off with ease. They are definitely the most enjoyable female fronted garage band I’ve seen for a long time, and I look forward to seeing them again, hopefully soon.

Tonight’s top billing are Pete Bentham & The Dinner Ladies, ‘Kitchencore from Liverpool’. Bentham turns out to be fascinating character. He is the maverick behind the most excellent Free Rock & Roll DIY collective in Liverpool. Go check out their Facebook page for more info.

The crowd seem to have disappeared briefly following Carbona Not Glue (one of the longest running Ramones tribute acts in the world), possibly to get more beer after much pogo-ing, but they are soon back for some Dinner Ladies action.

Bentham certainly doesn’t lack imagination and creativity with songs like the garage-y ‘Marcel Duchamp’ and the childlike magic of ‘Hey Yuri’. Catchy ‘Do The Don’t’ and the swaying staccato-ness of ‘You Gotta Work’. Bentham talks about his hometown in-between songs with equal helpings of humor and poignancy.  ‘Dead's Not Punk’ is a fast drive through the mishaps of drug use; "dead, dead, dead, dead, dead, dead, DEEEEEEAD!!!". They have no problem getting the crowd to participate in some post-Ramones pogoing.
It’s tricky to define the sound of Pete Bentham & The Dinner Ladies, as they are smart and quite unique. For all intents and purposes they are Poppy Punk Rock & Roll at it’s finest, and those Dinner Ladies certainly know how to use their utensils. Make no mistake, they are punk in the truest DIY sense of the word. Kitchen-tastic!

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