Bro Hymns

Pennywise have successfully avoided the mainstream success of many of their punk contemporaries like Bad Religion and the Offspring but have consistently delivered great albums every couple of years and it’s great to see them finally getting some recognition on the festival circuit over here. You have to feel sorry for them however as despite headlining the Lock Up stage on Saturday night they are destined for a small crowd due to the arrival of Rage Against the machine on the main stage. It’s no surprise then that they only get a couple of hundred punters and subsequently this feels more like a club show than a headlining festival slot. The band aren’t about to let that spoil things however and they set out to have a good time right from the off.

The crowd might be small but it’s very vocal and shout along to a string of classic Pennywise songs such as ‘Rules’, ‘My Own Way’, ‘My Own Country’ and a superb version of ‘Straight Ahead’. The band are clearly relaxed and enjoying themselves, although it’s not all good as guitarist Fletcher Dragge annoyingly says “make some fucking noise people” after almost every song! Half way through the set they decode to do a few cover songs just because they can and we get The Ramones ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’ followed by Minor Threat’s self titled classic. It’s all good fun but it’s the bands own songs that really stand out despite the sound being a little rough. ‘Fuck Authority’ and ‘Society’ both kick ass tonight and the crowd are responding to the effort the band are making in spite of the situation. Vocalist Jim Lindberg in particular is on fine form and seldom stops working the stage and crowd.

They finish up with a double salvo of ‘Broken’ and ‘Bro Hymn’, which is just stunning and ensures that despite the small numbers everyone leaves with a smile on their face. It’s just a shame that what could have been a really triumphant headlining slot was witnessed by so few.