The Bierkeller, Bristol – March 24th 2015

A night of classic Fat Wreck Chords punk rock was in store for a sell out Bierkeller crowd in Bristol!

Opening to the ever filling room was Western Addiction – with their only full length released way back in 2005 and after a 7 year hiatus, Western Addiction decided they wanted to get back into the touring and music writing game.

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Jason Hall on vocals started their set straddled between the stage and crowd barrier geeing the crowd up and then over the next 30 minutes they rip through their set playing a type of punk hardcore suggesting an 80’s hardcore revival is due with sharp hooks and cutting original lyrical content. The final song sees Jason ditch the guitar, jump into the crowd and do a lap round the venue saying whats up to every and having a dance with the ever increasingly busy dance floor! I hope to see another full length from these guys soon (thanks for the shout out to the Dude in the Pears shirt too!).

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Second on are arguably standalone headliners in their own right – Ontario, Canada’s The Flatliners. Once a ska band, but now are a full on punk rock band with great hooks and melodies in addition to lead vocalist Chris Cresswell’s distinctive clean/gruff voice.

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The room is now pretty full, these guys headlined a recent Deadpunk All Dayer at The Exchange to a sell out crowd and it was clear plenty of people wanted some more of them, me included!

Chris Cresswell’s voice is beautifully unique and it dips and dives through songs from ‘Dead Language their most recent release on Fat Wreck and also other back catalogue songs with no surprises to a The Flatliners fan. Plenty of jovial banter from Chris to the crowd too which I always hope shows signs that the band are comfortable and having fun… if I was in The Flatliners I’d love every minute. Great set full of great songs from a band that will only get even better.

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Lagwagon need very little introduction, they have been going for nearly 25 years and have released 8 studio albums, all on Fat Wreck, with the most recent and possibly one of their best ‘Hang’ dropping in 2014.

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Lead singer Joey Cape takes the stage with a mug of something, I’d be surprised if it was coffee or tea, but who knows and the fun really begins. The now packed room go crazy from the first song ‘After You my Friend‘ to the last, which was the absolute timeless classic ‘May 16‘ with the fillers being plenty of classics from over the years as well as showcasing songs of the latest record, including the epic 6 minute ‘Obsolete Absolute‘.

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After an hour the band leave and only Joey returns with an acoustic guitar to pay tribute to his friend, one of my heroes and legend, the late Tony Sly of No Use For A Name with a stripped down version of ‘International You Day‘ which has been done before by Joey in Scorpios which was with Tony before his passing, Jon Snodgrass from Drag The River and Brian Wahlstrom. This time Chris from The Flatliners rejoined the stage to help him out and the song was greeted by a huge “TONY!, TONY!, TONY!” chant.

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Lagwagon end the set on another classic ‘Razor burn‘ and its safe to say the crowd went home happy! Next up for Lagwagon in the UK is the run of shows with NOFX and Alkaline Trio in June… that is a tour not to be missed!

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