Overall Score: 7.5/10 Musicianship: 8/10 Audience interaction: 6/10 Setlist: 8/10 Pros: Band tight as hell, good song choices and set long enough to warrant ticket price Cons: Perhaps too much is posted online as there weren't any real surprise covers and it doesn't feel quite as fun watching as it did in 2022
As Storm Ciaran whips itself into… well an anticlimax, the hardier dwellers of Southampton and the surrounding area have not put their tickets on Facebook and instead come out to The 1865 for a night of music that doesn’t take itself too seriously, by a band that takes itself even less seriously – festival favourites Punk Rock Factory.
The venue is filled to the brim and by the time the intro tape hits (which also is not remotely serious) the atmosphere is electric. Opening with I Just Can’t Wait to be King, the band are as tight as you would expect from one halfway through their second sold out tour in a year, the quartet then begin to work through their repertoire, but it’s not until the Power Rangers theme tune that it really becomes noticeable how loud the crowd is.
There’s always a certain feeling of pride towards bands that do well – it seems like only 18 months ago they were just posting 15 sec clips of Disney covers on TikTok, now they’re playing festivals, selling out UK tours and taking their brand of pop punk overseas.
As PRF move through their tried and tested set including an absolutely banging version of the Thundercats theme and You’re Welcome (how does everyone in the room know the rap?) things get more poignant as they play the theme from Friends and a humourous moment of restarting the Alvin and The Chipmunks theme with an effect to make their voices squeaky, the audience appears to wane a little. Maybe it’s yet another cover of Running Up That Hill, maybe it’s that their on stage banter isn’t quite up to the standard of Bowling For Soup that we all go to their shows for, whatever it is, the neon lights around the amplifiers can’t seem to save it and this suddenly becomes the most stationary sold out crowd of any punk rock show.
Perhaps the joke has run its course, perhaps people just want a little more room to move at such a concert, whatever the reason and despite the band putting in a worthy performance, this no longer feels like the triumphant show it seemed to be at the beginning,