I’m not going to lie- I wasn’t the biggest NOFX fan before I interviewed vocalist Fat Mike for O-two. In fact I’m not sure that I had ever heard a NOFX song… But, being the excellent researcher I am, I diligently downloaded as much as I could get my lawbreaking little paws on and before you know it, I was quite enjoying their stuff. It took a few listens before I realized that despite song titles like “My Vagina”, “I Am An Alcoholic”, and “Brain Constipation”, NOFX can write clever, funny lyrics, they can scream with the best of them, and thrash angry ska-punk out of their guitars like pros.
So it was with great enthusiasm that I toddled along to the Olympia with various scruffy long-haired people in tow to see them live.
Thankfully, the support wasn’t actually half-bad. They also didn’t play for too long, for which we were even more grateful. The first band, entitled “Pour Habit” were a punk outfit with a slightly hardcore/metal bend. They were alright, but far too tanned and muscular to be convincingly punk. The next group, “The Flatliners”, had a more traditional punk sound going on, and were a little more authentic, (i.e. scrawny and pale)… But they were really nothing in comparison to the greatness that was NOFX.
Some people think that overweight forty-year-olds should keep their tops on and keep off-stage. I would generally also hold this view but (in the spirit of equal rights for old people,) you gotta make an exception every now and then. Classics like “Linoleum” and “Franco Un-American” were interspersed with some fairly random numbers like “Kill The Bloody Queen”, and a song off the new album Coaster, entitled “My Orphan Year”, was flung in for good measure. NOFX also delighted hardcore fans with the 18-minute-long marathon track “The Decline” (for which this writer takes full credit, as she requested this be played during her interview for your very own O-Two). But the music wasn’t the only reason this gig was so memorable. The NOFX lads chatted away with the audience, making all sorts of politically-incorrect jokes about Jews and Mexicans and finished the set with “Everyone’s A Little Bit Racist”, joined onstage by their two support groups. (For the record, the two guitarists El Jefe and Eric Melvin are Mexican and Jewish respectively so it’s ok, they can be as racist as they like).
What better way to start my week of hardcore exam revision than to jump around like a prepubescent skater-child to some oldskool pop-punk and kill off half my braincells? A double-thumbs-up to Fat Mike and his entourage of aged alcoholics!