Well, it makes me feel old but this NFG tour was called ‘20 Years of Pop Punk’. The band formed in 2007 and are celebrating 20 years of making reliably cheery yet angsty pop punk sounds together and also celebrating the release of their 9th studio album ‘Makes Me Sick’.
After support from Roam who are also celebrating an album release in the next fortnight (available to pre-order here) NFG opened with a funfair edition of a ‘Happy Anniversary’ song and jumping onto the stage to announce that they were celebrating their birthday here at the Academy.
They opened strong with Understatement, the first song on 2002 album Sticks and Stones and proceeded to play every song from that album as well as from 2004’s Catalyst.
My view from the balcony made it very easy to see from the off that crowd surfing at shows outside heavy rock is definitely still a thing. The whole show was incredibly high energy with encouragement from lead singer Jordan Pundik ‘Get your fists in the air and get the F up Manchester!’
Pundik and the band are clearly in party mode for this birthday tour and didn’t at all seem tired of touring or their older music. Something they did acknowledge though was how much technology has changed for the music industry since they started out. He exclaimed,
‘New fans don’t have to pay to hear our music so this is a shout out and thank you to the old fans here tonight who had to pay for records before they had real jobs. All the new ones should give them a tenner on the way out!’
He was met with some boos from the mixed ages crowd but as someone in the old fan camp I don’t think he’s wrong!
Despite all the excitement the energy did manage to heighten towards the close with much loved tracks as My Friends Over You, Forget My Name and I Don’t Wanna Know.
It’s clear that pop punk is certainly not dead after 20 years and actually looks like it’s going to be a huge part of the music scene for 17/18 as we enter this heavy ‘90’s culture revival.