DonotsEdit this event
- Academy, Pemberton »
I used to think that the worst place to stand at a gig was at the front where never ending waves of Doc Marten boots would continuously kick your head, gradually cracking open your skull while chains and bullet belts would scrap across your ear and down your face. It’s not a pleasant experience and while this can ultimately tarnish your enjoyment of the band onstage I think by far the most irritating position is at the edge of the mosh pit, slightly to the side, where never-ending streams of little kiddies run and push past you, knocking over your pint so they can get to the mosh for their favourite song.
Thing is, I’m at a *Millencolin *concert where EVERY song is at least 50 of the blighters’ favourite song! _Arrrgh! _I calm down, move to a better position and admire their adolescent excitement while one of my favourite bands when _I _was 16 blast through a set that surely shows them for the incredible songwriters that they are.
But, first things first and German upstarts the Donots *are Millencolin’s guest openers for the tour (for the record, it’s pronounced *Do-nots, not Donuts). Ever since the tour was announced every Millencolin fan I’ve come into contact with has been asking who the heck they are, especially as they’re main support above *Anti-Flag *– who I foolishly missed!! So as I enter the venue I’m surrounded by curious and focussed looks, followed soon after by slight nods of the head. By the end of the set the Donots seem to have wooed the kids so much there’s a full-on mosh and even a circle pit – not bad for their very first UK show!
But to be honest, listening to their recently released third album Pocketrock _I expected nothing less from such a crowd. Matching the catchiness and energy of any of Millencolin’s efforts the Donots have latched onto a formula that just produces spine-tingling hook after hook and live it just gets better. Despite both bands experiencing very Spinal Tap **drummer problems (both drummers have broken arms) Steffan from **Thumb **has taken Eike’s place and does a sterling job. As _‘Superhero’ _starts up the whole band really give it their all, guitarist Guido running from one side of the stage to the other while Alex thrashes out their catchy guitar licks. They’re also blessed with a charismatic frontman with all the hyperactivity of Toby Morse (H20) and watching him bounce around the stage like a gummy bear on speed totally brings out the energy of the music, particularly in **‘Whatever Happened To The 80s’_ where the audience is brought in to help with the who-ohs.
As last song _‘In Too Deep’ _is being played there are kids already making their way to the merch table eager for more of the Donots. They’re new favourite band? More like they’re all time favourite.
But, although the Donots could very well have been headlining, there’s another band playing tonight. A band who’s _‘Life On A Plate’ _album totally affirmed my love for melodic punk rock at a tender young age. An out and out classic it saw the band explode seemingly overnight and by the looks of the ecstatic crowd it seems I wasn’t the only one obsessed with Millencolin.
Starting with ‘No Cigar’ _the Academy just goes wild. By the time ‘Bullion’ comes into view the crowd have created possibly the biggest circle pits the Academy has ever seen, with bodies flying everywhere to the sound of Nikola’s distinctive vocals (respect to the guy with enough courage to tie his shoelaces in the middle of all this). New songs like 'Man or Mouse', 'Black Eye' and Punk Rock Rebel _evoke an amazing reaction but it’s the older, and better, songs that go down best.
A three-song encore is given where one of their most popular songs, at least among the ladies, ‘Fox’ _is given a rapturous response, as is their old cover of Operation Ivy’s ‘Knowledge’_. As the band leave the stage, the kids head towards the doors, drenched in sweat and beer with looks of awe-inspired amazement, hyperactively telling each other what an awesome gig it’s been. However, for someone who’s seen a younger, more active Millencolin on their first venture to UK soil, as good a live band as they are now, I’m not sure they could re-create that first live experience.