Formed officially in 2002, the annual Punk & Disorderly festival in Germany has become one of the biggest events on the international stage for punk bands. Primarily made up of German and older UK acts, the fest has gone from strength to strength as the years have gone on. This two-disc DVD documents the 2005 and 2006 editions of the festival, covering both the main and second stages of each year.
The main impression that is immediately drawn from Punk & Disorderly is the remarkable variation that is displayed amongst the bands. This includes variation in sound (ranging from shredding hardcore to ska), band personnel (from ageing overweight men to young women and a variety of races and languages) and instrumentation, where the usual guitar bass ‘n’ drums can be augmented with anything from a tin whistle to a washboard.
The variety means proceedings never get boring. To make sure, each band only gets one or, in the case of the better-known acts, two songs before it is on to the next. Crucially, the quality remains remarkably high throughout, with so many great songs it is easy to lose track. There is a bit of a step down to the second stage acts, but that is to be expected and is only a minor criticism.
The sound quality is also markedly better on the main stage acts, where it is simply excellent. So good, in fact, that it becomes easy to critique facets such as a vocalist cupping the microphone and hence muffling their own vocal sound – one example of this is Animal from the Anti-Nowhere League on the ’05 edition.
As for the bands themselves, the 2005 edition boasts the likes of The Business and old schoolers Eddie And The Hot Rods while 2006 includes Conflict, Chelsea and Deadline (who cover The Ramones). Unfortunately, there is a noticeable drop in the quality of the sound mix and the bands overall to the 2006 edition, which never gets back up to the heights of its opening – where Sham 69 unleash the one-two punch of the anthemic “Borstal Breakout” and “If The Kids Are United”.
These are very much genre acts; there are no crossover bands with high-rotation music video play or chart-topping singles here. As such, this is not for the casual listener or curious newcomer. The target audience for Punk & Disorderly is, unapologetically, the full-on fan of punk rock in all its various forms. As a result, your enjoyment will be formed on the basis of whether this is your style of music. If it is not, this will probably seem like a lot of ugly people making ugly music. But for those already interested in punk, this is a top-drawer package of some really great bands firing on all cylinders. While the 2006 disc is not up to the superb 2005 edition, this is still excellent stuff.
DIRECTOR(S): Various | COUNTRY: USA | YEAR 2008 | DISTRIBUTOR(S): Halo Eight | RUNNING TIME: 312 minutes | ASPECT RATIO: 16:9 Anamorphic | REGION: 0 | DISCS: 1