During the walk into Digbeth this evening, it seemed The Kerryman had changed from an Irish pub to a punk bar with punters donning leather jackets and multi coloured Mohicans. The reason for this is that NOFX were in town at the O2 Institute as part of their European tour.
First up at the show were Fat Wreck Chords signings Bad Cop Bad Cop, who’ve been receiving high praise of late and boy do they deserve it. An all girl punk outfit, the band gave a 40 minute set of fast paced and high energy tracks similar to tonight’s headliners. Full of attitude the band were a perfect opener for the show and I’m sure they’ll be smashing the festival circuit this summer.
The main support for the show were London punk band Snuff, who were perhaps the reason for the early doors due to them playing for an hour. But after they’d finished I’m sure the majority of the audience were more than happy that they had played for that amount of time. With members of NOFX watching, interacting and singing from the side of the stage the performance proved highly entertaining and high energy. I’m a sucker for brass, so a trombone player had me hooked from the start. With the group’s singer Duncan Redmonds also playing drums, the pace was surprisingly kept throughout the set and I’ll be sure to catch the band the next time they visit the city.
Formed in 1983, NOFX are a punk band from LA who’ve sold over 8 million records worldwide making them one of the most successful unsigned bands of all time. With their latest record ‘First Ditch Effort’ released in 2016, this show acts more as a warm up to a big show at Brixton Academy in London the following day. The band were recently thrust into the spotlight due to some distasteful jokes made by the band regarding the Las Vegas shooting and this gets mentioned at many points throughout the evening’s show.
Live the band’s show is as much about the banter and jokes between the members as it is the songs, and both were done extremely well. Taking to the stage to Rocky Horror’s Time Warp, the band treated the packed Birmingham crowd to tracks such as ‘Linoleum’, ‘Stickin In My Eye’ and ‘Seeing Double At The Triple Rock’ with proceedings led by the ever charismatic Fat Mike.
Despite all members’ now being over fifty years old, they sounded as urgent and vital as ever whilst also not displaying any sense of going through the motions. But perhaps that’s what has allowed them to carry on, a true enjoyment and desire for their art. And that cannot not be applauded.
Reviewer: Dan Earl
Photographer: Ian Dunn