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Buckfest 2015, McChuill's, Glasgow


Once again the back room at McChuill's played host to the madness engendered by unleashing Buckfest, free, upon all who dared venture across the threshold. Seven hours of some of the finest garage, rock 'n' roll and drag acts that Scotland has to offer were here in plain sight if you had the courage to only but look and listen.

Sporting highlights were still being broadcast behind them when Geek Maggot Bingo got things off to a flying start with 'Stupid Is As Stupid Does' and other numbers all delivered at high speed (and a volume that was thankfully lowered as the day progressed) & with a voice described as lie "a corpse being dragged across gravel". This is an act that reaches you in places you don't normally think about, but in a positive sense of course.

Next up came to solo performers back to back. First off was the very Joe Meekesque The Locarno Big Beat, laying down some Link Wray guitar over beats seemingly provided from a Bontempi. A string breakage in what proved to be his final number put paid to what was a very short set that was beginning to get interesting. Following on from that point came B-Side Boy, all decked out in dress, heels and a traditional Welsh woman's hat. Go figure. Beginning with what sounded like an ode to pretty active S&M his was a set of sustained wit and good humoured banter that never faltered for pace and definitely entertained.

Throughout the latter part of the day, as is unavoidable with the scene in question, cover versions were thick on the ground. 'Mongoloid', 'The Crusher', 'Monk Time', 'Mr. Pharmacist' and a bunch of others all got good treatment from the bands that made use of them. That first one featured in the set of the youngest act on the day's bill, The Phlegm (previously much enjoyed on the opening night of the first Franklin Fest back in June). Other than their upright bass not enjoying the best of sound this afternoon they were as tight as when last seen, playing with possibly a greater amount of confidence and once more showing they have great prospects.

Hosts The Bucky Rage made their appearance next in the line-up. Veterans of the scene, masters at the use of a luchador mask (or a pair of tights over the head) they embody the spirit of the Dwarves and The Mummies and deliver it with their own dollops of abuse, cheek and, above all, vibrant songwriting. Seeing them today for the first time was an experience too long in the realisation and one that deserves to be repeated at the earliest opportunity. A great example of just getting out there and doing it yourself.

Building to a close The Creeping Ivies were tonight's penultimate act. Also last seen at Franklin Fest they've undergone a change of bassist since the Summer but with no loss of energy or pace. New material featured in the set and so it's safe to say that it's business as usual from the trio and their The Witch House EP may well see a follow-up release alongside it in the coming months. Last on stage, with a nice line in blonde wigs and a suspiciously familiar looking bass player, were the excellent Kosher Pickles. Assuredly a band who need to get some more of their own material released as soon as possible, so authentic a garage sound do they produce. Backed by projections more akin to what you'd expect from a metal band and amid a slew of punchy cover versions and abuse their own 'Let's Get Pickled' and other originals had the audience bouncing around and calling for more. As free shows go you can only hope that they mostly come off as well as this one did and we heartily recommend that you make your way along to the 2016 version.

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