Nofx – Bristol Academy, 5th Nov

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NoFXAfter a tour of countries they’ve neglected to visit in the last 25 years of their career the pioneers of modern Punk Rock are back in the UK!

Bassist and bratty vocalist Fat Mike appears on stage already drunk and holding a mix of Vodka and Milk with Maltesers floating in it (A few of which ended up in the crowd). Six 30 second encores and a rare performance of their 18 minute classic “The Decline” made this one hell of a show. “The Decline” being a song they’ve been refusing to play live since it emerged in 1999.

An hour in to the show Fat Mike remarks that though they’ve been on stage for an hour they’ve only been playing for about 20 minutes. A well known trait of the Nofx live show. In fact I don’t think I’ve ever seen them start with a song. As always the band wandered onto the stage and spoke to the crowd for almost 5 minutes before even picking up instruments. Most bands attempting this would get shooed away or heckled but Nofx have a rare gift for banter I’ve only ever seen before from The Barenaked Ladies.

I could keep going forever about how much I really enjoyed Nofx but I think it’s time you heard something about the support acts.

First on, London three-piece TAT. The first (and last) I’d heard of this band they were promoting a song called Peace, Sex & Tea on the Extreme sports channel – for some reason. Their latest effort, ‘Champagne, Cocaine & Strawberries’ had an oddly similar title… Anyway! A valiant effort from a pop punk band to get the crowd of mohawks moving, but they managed it with ease. I enjoyed their set quite a lot. Reminded me of Bouncing Souls in places but with little consistency in song style. All recognisably punk songs but in my opinion too much variation. Besides that a very entertaining and tight band.

Moving swiftly on to The Loved Ones. A band that found it hard to keep the crowds attention until an incident where they managed to get a guy kicked out because he grabbed a girls arse without her permission. For some reason the crowd loved this and started to dance much harder than before. The Loved Ones are one of the newer additions to DIY punk label Fat Wreck Chords owned by Nofx front man himself Fat Mike. Great on CD, not quite as exciting live, though I had a great time waiting to see if the bass player would snap in half.

Overall a fantastic night. I bought some stickers, ate some Fish and Chips and a few friends trying to show the police just how punk they were, got arrested.