Photos and Review by Kevin Rossin
Tonight’s gig in Birmingham is the 5th gig of SNFU’s 33-date ‘Euro Frostbite Tour 2017’. They are a seasoned band, having formed in 1981, with singer Ken Chinn (Mr. Chi Pig) being the only original member left in the current lineup. SNFU’s sound has had various labels, from skate punk to melodic hardcore. Even though they hail from Canada, they have a similar sound to a lot of West Coast punk groups from the 90s era and are cited with influencing groups such as fellow Canadians D.O.A.
This was my first time seeing SNFU, but always been a group on my radar over the years, appearing on some of the early Epitaph Punk-o-rama compilations that are a great introduction into the 90’s American punk scene.
I’ll be honest, tonight’s gig was going to be a tough show for the bands due to the small turnout, being a mid-week gig in the depths of January and with SNFU covering the length of the UK with dates. When Sick Of The Riot started their set, there were about 15 people in the room. This grew to about 40 for the headline act. The crowd were all 30+, providing a concentration of dedicated fans and plenty of space to dance. There were even a couple of guys that had traveled from Ireland for the show.
The local trio SOTR kicked of the show with a solid 30-minute set. The alt-punk rock tracks were well received by the audience. The lead singer/guitarist put in an energetic performance that deserved a larger crowd to appreciate it. Their track ‘Forgotten Youth’ is available for download.
When SNFU took to the stage and started playing, the whole room picked up. The band played a brief intro before Chi took to the stage, where they immediately entered in to quartets of back-to-back songs interlaced with a bit of banter with the crowd, this would be the format for the next 90 minutes.
When you peel back the layers of SNFU you’ll find some excellent musicians. The whole rhythm section is incredible, in particular the drumming which is intense and tight – one of my favorite elements of SNFU. Add to this the on-point guitar solos and Chi’s distinctive vocals and lyrics and you get a recipe that provided SNFU with great success over the years.
The set included tracks from their most recent 2013 release ‘Never Trouble Trouble, Until Trouble Troubles You’, through to their first 1985 album ‘…And No One Else Wanted To Play’. Chi donned a pig mask for the track ‘Don’t Have the Cow’ – a song about mad cow disease!
The performance was full of energy and appreciated by the audience, who joined in to sing along to their favorite tracks. By the end of the show the fans were left charged from seeing a great band, the buzz filled the venue – even if the crowd didn’t. I hope that the rest of the tour has better attendance as a band who puts in the performance that we all witnessed tonight deserves to play to a sold-out venue.
Check out more SNFU on Spotify.
Time to buy a futon
Drunk on a bike
Loser at life
Where’s my legs
Don’t have the cow
She’s not a menu