LIVE: NOFX, Goober Patrol @ O2 Academy, Oxford

By Penny Bennett

It has been a long time since Oxford has had a punk band of this magnitude come through its University lined streets. Not since the much missed days of The Zodiac have fans had something to shout about, and its not very often you get to see NOFX in such an intimate setting on these shores. This being the only club show NOFX are playing on this trip to the UK, a warm up for Boomtown and Rebellion Fests, it has people out in force from all over the place. Even Frank Turner has made an appearance on what I imagine is a rare night off for him.

Arriving late, sadly missing the Chicago based Counterpuch, I was greeted by the opening chords from UK veterans Goober Patrol. Playing their own but familiar brand of 90’s skate punk they have gained the majority of the already large crowds attention. Playing old favourites like ‘B.E.E.R’ and ‘Last Train Home to Shezza’, the veteran band speed through their fun filled half hour with smiles on their faces, cracking jokes with the bouncing crowd.

Then it was time for what everyone is here for, NOFX. The So Cal punk stalwarts take the stage, starting the set off with their usual brand of crowd deprecating humour, mocking the Oxford crowd for being at first “Middle Class” and then “Upper Class” after the expected displeased reaction – the band laughing as they set up ready to play. Fat Mike announced that its guitarist El Hefes birthday, which leads to a rousing chorus of ‘Happy Birthday’ from the band and the crowd. The songs start coming fast and furious as only NOFX can, playing a good mixture of old and new with a few covers thrown in for good measure. There were rare outings for ’72 Hookers’ and ‘Creeping out Sara’, as well as the always poignant cover of the Tony Sly’s ‘The Shortest Pier’. Classics such as ‘Bob’, ‘Sticking in My Eye’, ‘Leave It Alone’ and ‘Franco Unamerican’ stand out as always in a set list full of hits. With ‘Linoleum’ getting extra special treatment tonight when Mr Frank Turner took over the vocal duties and shouted out every word along with every person in the building.

You know what you’re getting with a NOFX show, booze-fuelled punk anthems, a lot of between song banter and massive beer spilling sing-alongs. The only negative for me was the lack of Dinosaur Will Die but if that’s the only downside you know it has been a good night.