Monday 3rd March, Birmingham 02 Academy 2: Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, with support from Dead Frequency and Old Man Markley.
The small (600 capacity) room slowly filled as the stage was set, first to don the stage was Dead Frequency, a small up and coming English “Glam-Punk” band. With this being their biggest gig to date they came onto the stage with a great energy and presence. The crowd weren’t greatly responsive, no matter how much enthusiasm the front man- Matti Fantasi threw at them. Having said that, they are one of the best supporting bands around and their music was solid and fun. They describe themselves as “a mixture high-energy pop/punk and glam-influenced rock, the band have influences ranging from Green Day to Van Halen with a bit of The Darkness thrown in for good measure.” and that describes them perfectly. There’s no reason why these guys shouldn’t have great success, they’re very talented. Check them out at www.deadfrequency.co.uk
Second up, the anticipated Old Man Markley, a seven piece punk bluegrass band from Fat Wreck Records. Like a big crazy family, OMM took to the stage with a wonderful and wacky array of instruments, from a tub bass, and auto-harp to a wash-board and spoons! If you concentrate you can hear each individual instrument, yet all the sounds mesh so well together, they create the most wonderful sound which is so full of life. The enthusiasm is infectious, they obviously love music, they’re up on stage not for the audiences enjoyment particularly, but to have an amazing time themselves, and then share that with anyone watching. Album downloaded, two fans made, Old Man Markley cannot be recommended on record or on stage enough. Check them out now at www.oldmanmarkley.com
Then it was time, the main event. Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. Taking to the stage in matching bright blue Hawaiian shirts were: Joey from Ladwagon on Guitar, Dave from Ladwagon on Drums, Scott- who is standing in for Chris his brother from Foo Fighters- on lead guitar, Jay from Bad Religion on Bass and finally Spike, also known from Swingin’ Utters & Re-Volts, on lead vocals. Momentarily disappointed by the loss of NOFX’s Fat Mike (we were told he was currently attained, being urinated on by a Belgian Transvestite) but Jay made up for his void, with his cool demeanour and bass skills. Announcing the bands motto “This is a cover” (which is reiterated before every track) they hit it off with Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive, and the crowd erupted! Starting slowly, building up, then hitting the chorus, the band explodes- and welcome the Punk, every song is punchy and fun, how can such main stream tosh be turned into such funky punky tunes? One will never know, its a Me First secret recipe. Spikes star power is a huge draw of the band, he’s everything a leading man should be, he’s charismatic, energetic and super crazy talented. One of the best moments in the show was their Country tracks- as Spike said it they “put the Cunt in Country” and he was right, as they smashed Jolene, one of the bands best known tracks, and then they obliterated Ghost Riders likewise. With a wide variety of songs covered Punk, and endless spunk, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes are a band not to miss live.
Leaving the venue buzzing, a great night was had by all. Rock on.