Yep, that’s right. Academy 2. I know, it’s fairly absurd that a band like Pennywise has been downgraded to a venue that can only fit in 380 bodies as opposed to 2000. Although, I’m sure the £17.50 ticket price didn’t particularly help… That being said, for a fan of the band and/or its supports, Strike Anywhere and A Wilhelm Scream, it is pretty amazing to have a line-up of this calibre in such an intimate setting. Here’s how it went down…
Tech-punkers A Wilhelm Scream from Boston deliver their as-always ultra tight performance, full of gritty punch and skilful musicianship, as they fire threw their 30-minutes of both old and new. Frontman Nuno Pereira is a bolt of non-stop energy, as they finish with Famous Friends and Fashion Drunks, ending on a high note of mass sing-a-longs and a flurry beers held high in the air.
Politically-conscious renegades Strike Anywhere follow up with their hearty melodic hardcore, and it’s not that they are lacking, but sadly those in attendance just don’t seem to lap them up as much as their predecessors. Of course, there are still those down at the front who are loyally shouting along to fist-raising anthems such as We Amplify and Blaze. Several tracks from their recent full-length effort, Iron Front, also find their way into the set, including the pro-immigration The Crossing, before perfectly closing with the mightily uplifting and anti-government protest song I’m Your Opposite Number.
Pennywise, it’s been a rough year for a band often deemed one of the most important punk rock bands of our time, following the departure of original frontman Jim Linberg last year, now permanently replaced by Ignite’s Zoli Téglés – it’s all eyes on the new guy. While blitzing through an 1-hour and 15-minute set, with the likes of Peaceful Day and favourite Fuck Authority, Zoli sings with just as much, if not more, anger and passion regarding the political and social frustrations that Jim wrote about, inside the crammed venue. The chemistry on stage between Zoli and guitarist Fletcher is nothing short of hilarious, and when a problem with the guitar ensues, the two sing a rendition of Stand By Me, and it’s clear that Zoli is just as accepted by the people here tonight. Regardless of ticket sales, Pennywise, as a band, has never been stronger; here’s to another 20-years.
– Faye Turnbull.
Keep checking back for our interview with Strike Anywhere!