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A couple of weeks ago, the buzz going around town was all about Hopscotch. However, unbeknown to the majority of Raleigh’s indie-rock mainstream, another music festival was in the works: Scumfest 2010 Caboose Reunion Party.

The Independent gave Scumfest both a “recommended” and “our picks” score on their website, but then went on to trash it in their actual review; in a moment of surprising political incorrectness, Indie reporter Bryan Reed referred to the event as “shock rock’s short bus.” Among the outraged responses, one stood out, saying “if you’re looking for the cool hip show to go to on this weekend, do us a favor and go somewhere else.”

What’s this? I thought, a chance to escape the normal Raleigh posturing? I’m a big fan of the Friday night headliners KIFF, and Emily Haines wasn’t going to be with BSS at City Plaza after all. I decided to check it out.

Unfortunately I was in the middle of a reflooring project that weekend, and so could only make the second half of one night. That was enough to ensure I’ll keep my calendar open for Scumfest 2011.

The first band I saw was Biggy Stardust and His Wretched Hive. A Charlotte area punk band who knew how to seriously thrash and played actual punk, I can’t wait for this band to come back around.

Biggy Stardust

What is/was Scumfest? In the words of the event description provided on the event’s website:

The Caboose was a little rock club / beer joint / biker bar / redneck bar / pool hall in Garner NC. Could have been any number of dives any place in NC. One huge difference though. Between 1994 – 1999 The Caboose brought many underground punk/hardcore & metal acts big & small to its stage.”

Chris Engler

Those not old enough to remember may find it odd to think that there was few options for any kind of extreme rock n roll in the Raleigh area or even the triangle. Indeed many of the acts that played the Caboose during this time period, Literally could not get booked anywhere Else in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hell or even North Carolina! The Caboose specialized in putting on shows with extreme metal, Hardcore punk, Shock Rock, as well as some good old southern rock, Garage rock, and even some stuff that was just plain weird.

Jonny D.

These days Raleigh has many rock clubs to choose from. Hardcore Punk & Extreme Metal are downright accepted as part of the Triangle music scene. The Caboose was not the only place that pioneered this. But from 94-99 we played a huge role.

Mike Manwhore

What is / was the Scumfest? In 1995 wanting to showcase the bands WE thought should get some attention. We threw a party and had some of the best local acts perform. Of course the local entertainment coverage was to almost completly ignore this party. Except for one local indie rock clown who remarked- Caboosefest? They should call that Scumfest.

Next up was a great appearance by Miss Bliss, of the local Hellcat Vixens.

In 1996 Scumfest it was

Miss Bliss performing her second dance of the evening

Taking a cue from bands Like ANTiSEEN (Caboose regulars) Cocknoose, Rancid Vat etc. We decided to have three days of the most extreme punk & metal acts we could get. We cooked a pig and had free eastern NC style BBQ for everybody. Tons of bands. Some contests and plenty of beer guzzling mayhem. Each year the Scumfest grew in size.

See video ofMiss Bliss's routine here (possibly NSFW)

The next act was Self Made Monsters, another Charlotte area band. While their music was a bit heavier than I usually listen to, I still enjoyed their whole set, and thought they had a lot of great stage presence and energy.

Eddie Monster

Steven Johnson

Mike Jenkins

Finally, Pabstman came out to introduce the headliners, KIFF (Knowledge Is For Fools).

Quote of the night:

So I was outside an some hipster came up to me with a Hopscotch wristband, wanting to know if he could get in with it. I said ‘man, that thing is as useless as a dick on an indy-rocker!’ – Pabstman

James At 15

Slayer Doug on guitar

Ed Warner on bass

This was at least the second or third time I’ve seen KIFF in the past few months, and as usual they rocked more than hard enough to be worth seeing again. Not featured in any pictures here was Jason (Wheelz) Wheeler on drums.

The first time I saw these guys about halfway through the show I looked over at my friend Chris and shouted over the cacophony Holy S-, these guys are only using three instruments!

KIFF has quite a few fans who make it to all of their shows. Here one of the audience members fills in the chorus for James at 15 with Ed Warner singing backup.

Another appearance by Pabstman

Pabstman performing with KIFF

Fistful of Brains – video can be seen here. For most realistic experience, make sure your computer speakers are inside your skull.

James at 15

It's moments like this that make me glad metal is making a comeback

Another one of KIFF’s videos The Forever Dead can be seen here. Being from a soundtrack to a horror film, though, this video is probably also NSFW or for the gore-sensitive.

Another one of the rare shots of Slayer Doug where his hands are still enough to photo

Preparing for the finale

One of the most exciting parts of the show besides the music

All in all, a fantastic show. The bands were amazing, Pabstman and Miss Bliss provided awesome in-between acts, and as always Volume 11 was a really wonderful venue with great bartenders. Definitely worth skipping Panda Bear for; I can’t wait for Scumfest 2011!

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