Live Review: Punk Rock Factory – o2 Academy, Birmingham 21.11.2021 plus gallery

As the lights dim for a sold out first night of the tour for Punk Rock Factory, the atmosphere in the room rises, filling the o2 Academy’s 3rd room from floor to ceiling. The nervous welsh four piece walk on stage in front a personalized LED light of their logo ready to give it their all. The ‘We’ve Got This Covered’ tour does exactly what it says on the tin and their very full setlist is full of their best Disney and other nostalgic punk rock covers. You definitely get what you paid for when you buy a ticket to see these guys.

Whilst Peej’s nerves get the better of him for the first couple of songs (only obvious by the missing of an occasional line) the entire band are passionate and promising from beginning to end and are all very talented musicians in their own right. Their Welsh charm shines through once the nerves subside and they get into their stride; the interactions with each other and the crowd come across effortless when they arrive and we’re soon blessed with ‘Under The Sea’. Only at a Punk Rock Factory gig will you witness a mosh pit to some Disney hits and beer throwing to the ‘Animaniacs’ theme song. ‘Your Welcome’ garners the loudest singing of the evening so far and Peej’s ability to rap even quicker than the original is something to behold.

A quick rendition of Bowling For Soups’ ‘1985’ makes it clear who the biggest influence of this band are whilst still making everything their own. Every cover is high tempo and as their website says “punk rock powerhouses Punk Rock Factory make easy work of their special brand of punk covers.” Not a single person can keep their feet from moving during the entire show and whilst there is room for improvement (and less feedback) from the gang, it doesn’t stop everyone from having the time of their lives. Unfortunately, there is a small issue during ‘Go Your Own Way’, causing Peej to check if certain audience members are okay and quickly telling the problem creator to ‘get the fuck out of here’. It’s a refreshing change to see that the guys care for their supporters at a time when it would be easier to ignore the problem. The mood is quickly lifted by one simple comment; “Ironically, I was about to ask if you can feel the love to night…”.

Christmas songs in November is a divider for the crowd but everyone is united in a cheer at the thought of beating Mariah Carey to the number 1 spot on the Christmas charts this year. ‘Merry Christmas’ has a lot of reluctant heads bobbing but their is no denying that this is an awesome cover. From one extreme to another, we’re thrown from a Christmas hit, straight into ‘Last Resort’ by Papa Roach and then ‘Let It Go’ from Frozen. This was the peak of the night and very few bands can pull it off. The rest of the show continues as it began and it feels like everyone, band included, could’ve carried on into the early hours.

Gallery (click on the picture for a full view)

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