Saw Dië Spanglë aka the Best Kept Secret of Cornwall
The week after the coronation, I saw a punk rock show in St. Just, England. Last week, the local shops held Union Jacks along the door frame, and in the windows of its citizens signs that state – “Not My King.” What hasn’t changed in a week is the three pubs, two convenience stores, and bakeries that line the city center of this town located in the south tip of England in Cornwall County. It’s quiet here, and the last place I’d expect to hear the sounds of punk, so you can imagine the glow in my eyes when news of an upcoming show reached my ears.
The person who informed me presented a photo from his phone of a whiteboard that lists upcoming events at the Town Hall. Below “Saturday, May 13,” it listed – “Punk Band.” That’s it – “Punk Band.” No name, no other information. Safe to say – I’m not a hard sell – I was in at the utter of “punk.”
Fast forward to the night of the show – it was £5 to get into the Town Hall turned venue. My company and I took a seat just in time to see the opener finish their set. The room was an auditorium with a single stage in front. The opener was good, two older gentlemen, one bass and the other lead guitar, who played with a drum track making half-assed remarks in between songs. A slow, doom punk-type sound with a screeching guitar behind a demonic voice that reminded me a bit of Paranoid Vision. A nice appetizer to the headliner – Dië Spanglë.
Never hearing of them, I Googled “Dië Spanglë” to find out they have a Facebook and Bandcamp, and as a joke, they submitted a song to Eurovision back in 2019 shown in this article which states, “A friend of Penzance band Dië Spanglë saw that entries were now open for Eurovision 2019 and suggested the four-piece with a combined age of 201 might want to enter with their somewhat tongue-in-cheek song ‘Nul Point’ in the competition to be held in Tel Aviv, Israel.” They didn’t win, unfortunately.
Safe to say, the headlining act of the show labeled “Punk Band” was not a disappointment for this wandering fool who hasn’t seen a show since Hammered Hulls at the Earl. Their energy was stellar. The lead singer never once stood on stage, instead chose to be in the crowd, moving back and forth, singing, and never breaking this angry face that would haunt the nightmares of any politician eager to say “God Save the King.” The bassist and guitarist held the attention of the ears as on-stage dancers encouraged the crowd to get involved. Each song, both fast and strong, had a chorus that was catchy and easy to remember. My favorite song from their set was called “Noize Complaint” with the chorus of “We only play late to drown out your moaning.” This would be the song their followers seemed to sing along to the most, reminding me of days back at home when I would do the same thing.
A joker’s smile was on my face leaving the venue. All I could think about was how awesome punk can be – to know I saw a show in the most unlikely place, miles away from home, surrounded by people dancing, congregating around a stage, and raging against conformity – together. It goes to show you – behind every crack and cranny of this rotating rock we often forget we’re living on, there are people playing the raw sounds of punk, stirring in the underground, in Town Halls and the souls of those who dare to be free.
Dare on, swine.