Gig Review

Snuff, The Flatliners, Pour Habit, Section 13
Birmingham, Academy
24th April 2009
NOFX                      Snuff             The Flatliners       Pour Habit     Section 13     
Photo Of The Flatliners © Copyright Helen WilliamsWhat more could you ask for during the credit crunch than 5 punk acts for the price of 1? That’s exactly what the Academy offered us tonight, and it’s a travesty that the show wasn’t sold out. (Fat) Mike Burkett’s influence on the evening’s proceeds is clear, with 4 out of the 5 bands on the bill being signed to his label, Fat Wreck Chords.

Section 13, the first act up, is the only exception. Led by ageing frontman Ian (who reminds me a little of Frank Gallagher of Shameless fame), the lads from Leamington Spa put on an admirable show, but it’s a little melodically challenged for my liking. As the only non-Fat Wreck Chords band, they stand out like a sore thumb.

Photo Of Snuff © Copyright Helen WilliamsNext up is the first of the Fat bands. Everything about Pour Habit is fast. Lead vocalist Chuck runs about the stage in fast forward, jumping into the crowd, teetering on the edge of the stage, and pulling faces at the cameras. They have their own unique brand of melodic hardcore mixed with good old-fashioned punk, but unfortunately it’s all a bit repetitive.

The evening picks up with the arrival of The Flatliners on stage. Named after a trippy Keifer Sutherland film about near-death experiences, the young band burst with energy and catchy punk riffs. Unfortunately, the crowd is still warming up so they don’t get the reception they deserve, but they still manage to conjure up a decent circle pit towards the end of their set. Check out our pre-show interview with The Flatliners in the interview section.

Photo Of NOFX © Copyright Helen WilliamsAfter a short wait, Snuff take to the stage. It’s clear that a good chunk of the crowd is here to see the notorious British punk rockers. It’s an interesting change to see the drummer take lead vocals, even if it does take me a while to work out where his voice is coming from. Their second track, ‘Caught In Session’ is my favourite, with a catchy trombone riff which gets everyone dancing and encourages a few crowd surfers. The rest of their set seems little dated and tired, with the exception of the great ‘Nick Northern’, but it’s still great to see the legends at work.

NOFX are up next, and the lighting engineers seem to be toying with the audience. They dim the lights gradually over the course of about 20 minutes, while playing several songs from the Avenue Q soundtrack, before NOFX eventually take to the stage in their typically casual style and dive head first into their set.

They deliver their two minute, energy fuelled ska/ punk classics with precision. They’re notoriously political, and aren’t afraid to let their opinions be heard, especially in a particularly scathing song dedicated to the Queen.Unfortunately, their set is diluted with meandering banter and choreographed jokes, meaning that in their 90 minute set, we only get about 20 songs. I’m all for crowd interaction, but not when it takes the focus away from the music, which is why we’re here after all. When they do play though, it’s magic to watch, and every single person has a smile on their face.

Photo Of NOFX © Copyright Helen WilliamsWhat I like most about NOFX is their variety, and their ability to switch from fast punk songs to reggae-tinged songs like ‘Eat The Meek’ and ‘Radio’. Guitarist and trumpter, El Hefe carries most of ‘Eat The Meek’ by himself, and pulls off the haunting vocals perfectly.

It’s unbelievable that these guys are into their forties and have been touring like this since 1983. While their act might not be the freshest it ever has been, they still have great enthusiasm for what they do and for their fans. We can all rest assured that when NOFX do finally retire, Fat Wreck Chords will provide another fantastic generation of punk rockers, who will hold up the standards set for them by the great NOFX.

Section 13 - 2/5
Pour Habit - 3/5
The Flatliners - 4/5
Snuff – 3/5
NOFX – 4/5

Review By Helen Williams


Fat Mike (Vocals, Bass)
El Hefe (Guitar, Vocals)
Eric Melvin (Guitar)
Erik Sandin (Drums)


Duncan Redmonds (drums, vocals)
Lee Batsford (bass)
Loz Wong (guitar)
Dave Redmonds (trombone)
Paul Thompson (guitar, vocals)
Terry Edwards (keyboards, brass)

 The Flatliners

Chris Cresswell
(Guitar, vocals)
Scott Brigham (Guitar)
Jon Darbey (Bass)
Paul Ramirez (drums)

 Pour Habit

Chuck (Vocals,)
Colin (Drums)
Eric (Guitar, Vocals)
Shaun (Guitar)
Steve (Bass, Vocals)

 Section 13

Si (guitar)
Jay (drums)
Matt (bass)
Ian (vocals)

 Band Related Links
NOFX Myspace
Snuff Myspace
The Flatliners Myspace
Pour Habit Myspace
Section 13 Myspace
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?