In some ways the last date on the current UK tour of US hardcore/punk supergroup OFF! could be defined by the array of shirts worn by the audience members. Flipper, Rollins, Black Flag, Antrhax, Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden were all represented in T-shirt form, and as you might expect in the hardcore/punk territory a few Perry tops too, demonstrating the deceptively diverse nature of this band made up of former members of Red Kross, Black Flag and Rocket From The Krypt.
As you'd expect from such accomplished artists in the field, no sooner is frontman Keith Morris on stage, sporting a Ramones shirt himself, than the band have launched into an onslaught of songs. Barely five minutes has passed before the first three tracks of the set are racked up. "Panic Attack"," I Don't Belong" and "I Got News For You" were unleashed upon the audience, with Morris' ferocious energy as a performer putting younger men to shame. Morris pauses at this point to berate an audience member for his choice of T-shirt, printed with a parody of Sabbath's "Master Of Reality", dictating that, "If there is one band you do not mock - it is Black Sabbath". Punk has always been a slightly different beast on one side of the Atlantic to the other, with its US exponents, arguably celebrating the similarities of metal and punk more than its British counterparts. Whether it is a product of divergent or convergent musical evolution is a matter for great debate, but as soon as the audience member is scolded, OFF! loose another set of relentless songs that must barely be a minute long each. There is another break which Morris uses to explain that the next song will be a tribute to his friend and hero the, influential Jeffrey Lee Pierce (The Gun Club). Managing to combine his lecture in music heritage with his barrage of songs, with guitar line of, "Toxic Box" the last track before the encore seamlessly referencing "Black Sabbath" and Hendrix's "Star Spangled Banner", to complete the history lesson. The encore is made up of three further songs, including "Upside Down", before the band depart, as quickly as they arrived, leaving an audience sated and educated, proving without doubt over the course of over twenty songs, that OFF! are not a gimmicky punk supergroup. They are one of the most exciting bands of their genre today. Find out more at offofficial.com