Welsh social media giants Punk Rock Factory are headlining a packed-out Rock City in Nottingham as part of their ‘Excellent Adventure’ tour of the UK. Warming up the crowd tonight were ‘Sean Smith DJ Set’ and fellow Welshmen ‘Say It Anyway’. As the stage was readied by the crew, the Rock City speakers were blasting out hit after hit from 90’s punk bands such as Green Day. The crowd were singing every hit at the top of their voices as though the bands were on the stage. The atmosphere in the venue was electric. I don’t think I’ve seen for a long time a crowd as pumped up as the one in front of me tonight.
The bands intro tape played, and the lights went down. A member of the stage crew flashed a torch to the sound desk, signalling the show was about to start. The crowd were cheering and whistling, the noise they made was deafening. A bright white light lit up the massive yellow lettered Punk Rock Factory banner behind the drum kit. Out onto the stage came pink haired ‘Kob’ who sat behind his drums, his arms outstretched encouraging the crowd to shout even louder. ‘Benj’ followed bass in hand with his fingers poised ready to play. Then came ‘Ryan’ and ‘Peej’ the crowds cheering raising once again.
The first of the18 songs tonight is a cover of ‘Everybody (Backstreets Back)’ by the Backstreet Boys. Injecting their own energy into the song the four members of the Punk Rock Factory unleash the energy and vigour that is to remain the whole of the time they are on stage. The song being instantly recognisable to the crowd had them providing the backing track from the floor of the venue. Peej and the rest of the guys looking visible delighted by the enthusiasm of the audience in front of them.
Heading into Disney territory Punk Rock Factory energetically performed ‘Under the sea’, ‘How Far I’ll Go’ and ‘You’re Welcome’. All of which had screaming guitars and a thundering beating of the drums as a backing to the classic cartoon films. The crowd were absolutely loving it. The anticipation on the faces of those stood around me turning into great big smiles as they recognised the opening bars of the songs Punk Rock Factory played.
Punk Rock Factory are known for their covers of TV shows with the setlist being peppered with a few. ‘Mighty Morphin Power Rangers’ saw green laser lights shining out above the crowds’ heads and transporting us to a pineapple under the sea Peej did his best impression of ‘Painty The Pirate’ for ‘The SpongeBob SquarePants’ Theme.
Coming straight out of the song ‘The Greatest Show’ from ‘The Greatest Showman’ Peej shouted to the crowd ‘Give some noise for yourself Rock City’. Peej then turned to Benj and asked, ‘Are there any other great shows?’. Benj replied ‘The Bill’. Ryan and Kob instantly went into the opening beats of the show. Peej reigned it in by informing the fans ’we’re not playing that!’. The crowd started throwing in some names. I could hear Teenage Ninja Turtles being shouted, then someone caught Peej’s attention with Grange Hill. ‘What a class show, but we’re not playing that either, sorry!’ he said. Peej finally announced they were going to play the theme from ‘Red Dwarf’ and like every song tonight the fans on the floor were shouting the lyrics as loud as they could.
Throwing a cover of Papa Roach’s ‘Last Resort’ saw an almighty turn on the energy meter as Punk Rock Factory were joined on stage by Sean Smith. Grabbing a mic, he blasted the lyrics out as he raced from one side of the stage to the other. As Sean continued singing, he leapt out on to the crowd barriers, screaming the lyrics into the mic, being supported only by the hands of the fans in the front rows. He finally made it back to the stage for the end of the song.
We Don’t Talk About Bruno came towards the end of the set. The song saw the whole of the crowd singing along. The individual groups of people around me rhythmically gesticulating at each other as if they are acting the scenes from the movie Encanto.
The final song for me brought back nightmares of a Disney Trip with the kids when I had to endure a trip to see Elsa on the Frozen ride at Epcot……. That aside it was amazing to see the audience inside Rock City singing along to the last song ‘Let It Go’. Seeing the crowd rocking out to this incredibly fast version of the 2014 best seller was amazing with the climax being the confetti snow falling from the lighting rigs and Punk Rock Factory playing ‘When You Wish Upon A Star’, as the final bars of the show, to the enormous cheers of the crowd that carried on long after the band had finished playing. What a fantastic way to end a show.
For anyone reading this review who wasn’t at the gig, I’m sorry to say that you missed one of the best shows you will ever see. The atmosphere in the venue was electric, the crowd participation was fantastic, the set list was amazing and Punk Rock Factory were the geniuses that pulled it all together. This band is going places and I have no doubt this show is going to end up at Wembley Stadium someday with ninety thousand fans singing punk rock versions of classic cartoons. Amazing!!! Put my name on the guest list Punk Rock Factory because I want to be there when you do!!
Punk Rock Factory Set List
- Everybody (Backstreet’s Back) (Backstreet Boys cover)
- Under the Sea (Samuel E. Wright cover)
- Pokémon Theme (Jason Paige cover)
- Rewrite The Stars
- Surface Pressure (Jessica Darrow cover)
- You’re Welcome (Dwayne Johnson cover)
- You’ll be back (Jonathan Groff cover)
- Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (Ron Wasserman cover)
- Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) (Kate Bush cover)
- SpongeBob SquarePants Theme (Painty the Pirate & Kids cover)
- Can You Feel the Love Tonight (Elton John cover)
- Last Resort (Papa Roach cover)
- The Greatest Show (Pasek and Paul cover)
- Red Dwarf Theme
- Defying Gravity (from Wicked)
- We Don’t Talk About Bruno (Lin‐Manuel Miranda cover)
- How Far I’ll Go (Auliʻi Cravalho cover)
- Let It Go (Kristen Anderson‐Lopez & Robert Lopez cover)
Punk Rock Factory Discography
The Wurst Is Yet To Come – 2019
A Whole New Wurst – 2020
Masters Of The Uniwurst -2021
Scene This – 2021
A Whole New Wurst 2 – 2022
Punk Rock Factory gig review – Rock City Nottingham. @ https://www.rocknews.co.uk/