NOFX LIVE @ THEBARTON THEATRE 14/11/2014
I last saw NOFX in 2010 when they played at No Sleep Til’ and 4 years later, nothing had changed except the colour of fat mike’s mohawk (they were just as awesome).
Whilst walking to the venue, it soon became clear that every punk, punter and preacher were collectively congregated for the punk rock show. It was great to see such a mix in demographics with young kids sporting Bad Religion Tee’s, and older fans wearing that same Descendents shirt from ’93.
First act of the night The Bennies, delivered a short set packed with tantalizing vocal-effect manipulation moulding into punk rock rhythm sections. I feel as if these guys would thrive in a club scene and I could easily picture them tearing the roof down. With one request of “a bigger rider and a longer set" they then dedicated “Anywhere You Wanna Go” to Frenzal Rhomb.
Frenzal Rhomb were up next. Being one of my favourite bands for a good 3 or 4 years, their career length was really put into perspective. Lindsay ‘The Doctor‘ McDougall strutted out on stage wielding his Gibson SG, sporting a very fashionable floral dress, whilst Jay Whalley’s dreads were just as iconic as ever.
They opened with an old classic, ‘Genius’ and proceeded to blast through crowd favourites such as ‘Punch in the Face’, ‘Ship of Beers’, ‘Bird Attack‘ and of course ‘Bucket Bong‘. Their on-stage banter was as good as ever and Tom Crease’s backup vocals were flawless (pretty impressive when you see the basslines he's punishing at the same time). A few circle pits later and they closed with the legendary “Never Had So Much Fun” followed by hilarious and personal favourite “You Can’t Move In To My House”
The techs were now changing over the drumkit, putting up the humorously small banner and line-checking the instruments, so it seemed appropriate for the entire venue to make one last trip to the bar. After a good 20 minutes and several ‘NOFX‘ chants, they finally came on stage.
Before they even started their set, Fat Mike had sussed out the crowd and taken a key interest in a punter who managed to get a beer bong into the venue. They brought him (and his beer bong) on stage, and sunk a beer each before kicking off the set and whipping out ‘Seeing Double at the Triple Rock‘ early on.
With several more appearances from the beer bong (including Fat Mike offering the punter $100 to chug a beer, in which he did) and plenty of crowd surfing, this NOFX set was everything you would expect it to be. Adding that ska element, El Hefe‘s trumpet made a few appearances, and with The Doctor back on the keys for Franco un-American, the positive vibes were abundant.
“This next bit’s called 11 songs in 10 minutes and it’s where we play 11 songs in 10 minutes, 1,2,3, go", was the most intense 10 minutes of my life. Jumping around to a solid 200bpm drumbeat for 10 minutes beats any gym workout you could stir up.
It truly was an awesome set and they were actually really good at not f*cking up their parts this time (although at one point Fat Mike did declare he was having too much fun to remember how to play bass).
If you’re not that familiar with NOFX, it’s probably for the best but the next time they are here, I’ll be there hoping they play The Decline!