Kubichek!: The Brickyard, Carlisle, Wednesday, January 24

Punk rock wins out with a two-fingered guerilla salute to indifference

Newcastle quartet Kubichek! are the sound of your brain in meltdown; a frightening, ear-buggering, no-wave sonic juggernaut that grabs your grey matter and humps it into submission. And it’s brilliant.

It’s just a shame that nobody in Carlisle bothered to find that out. Of the 15 or so people who made it out tonight, about 13 look like they’d rather be left to drink in silence, thanks. Two others take pity and do their drinking at the front of the stage.

“This isn’t the fucking bingo,” declares agitated frontman Al. “So get up off your seats… you bunch of boring cunts!” Nobody gets up. Kubichek! launch into ‘Outwards’ and play like they couldn’t give a flying fornicate anyway. Perversely, this makes for a better gig – the tension between band and audience isn’t just palpable, it’s visible.

Yet there’s no reason why anybody shouldn’t love this band. The furious stop-start melodic thunder of ‘Stutter’ – tonight sung by Al rather than flu-ravaged bassist Frog – sounds monumental, even though no-one’s listening. And new single ‘Nightjoy’ – like Editors tripping over themselves to be interesting – is a nod to radio-friendly convention, whose infectiousness warrants at least a medium-sized moshpit.

Kubichek! play only seven songs tonight, each one angrier and louder than the last. Kubichek! – 1 Apathy – 0.

Barry Nicolson