Millencolin / Strawberry Blondes

Academy 3, Manchester on Sun 28th Sep 2008

Arriving at the venue too late to catch Templeton Pek, like a lot of the crowd, we manage to then see Strawberry Blondes, self-titled 'new kings of punk'. I miss their point. They appear very cocky. Not that strange for a punk band you say. They are not overly talented. Not that strange for a punk band you say. I'm sorry but you do have to be able to play quite well these days, the Sex Pistols type of shoddy thrashing does not work on our ears, since the arrival of Green Day, NOFX and others with good voices and musical ability.

Strawberry Blondes

The addition of a solo trumpet does nothing for them, and does not change them into ska punk or anything, it just sounds a little weak. They need more brass (though in this economic climate who doesn't). Yeah, they have the attitude, some of the tunes are melodic in places, and though saying they are for fans of Rancid and The Clash, whereas these bands have lyrics that are clear and you can mostly understand the SBs are a little too slurry with the vocals for their own good.

Good job then that Millencolin are up next to give us some real punk. Born of the skate punk found on the skate vids of the late eighties and early nineties, Sweden's most popular band (Abba don't count on this list) of punk have always been leaders in the European skate punk scene. It's this dedication to skating (skaters themselves, they have merchandise including boards, shoes, and a skate event) that has stuck with fans and made them popular over here. Merch is a big thing to the band; tonight they are all sporting matching 'Machine 15' T-shirts.


This is a rare UK tour; not since the Eastpak Antidote of 2005 with this year's headliners Flogging Molly have Millencolin ventured to our green land. This is quite a large tour, taking in Australia, South America and most of Europe. We are halfway through this extensive shift, and the band show no signs of slowing down.

Guitarists Erik Ohlsson and Mathias Färm are jumping all over the place on the small stage, winding the crowd up into a crowd-surfing frenzy (it is most amusing to watch one security guy pushing the surfers back as there is no room on stage for them, meaning plenty of upside-down feet!).


The setlist is a fine mixture of tunes from their bunch of albums, mainly focusing on the singles released from 1997 to present day. The definite crowd favourite is 'No Cigar', probably due to its inclusion on Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 game. My personal favourite though is the very short and fast punch of 'Bullion', the song that got me into this band in the first place (from the free Reading Festival Vans Warped Tour CD in '97).

I may be showing my age but many of the crowd here are older than me; there are not many young kids here at all. I may sound selfish but it is nice to have a band that does not have to change their sound to hit today's market and isolate us old followers in the process. It's just a shame they do not tour more often...

Penguins & Polarbears
Machine 15
Botanic Mistress
Cash Or Clash
Broken World
Man Or Mouse
Brand New Game
Black Eye
The Ballad
Mr. Clean
E-20 Norr
Losin' Must
No Cigar

Farewell My Hell

article by: Danielle Millea

photos by: Danielle Millea

published: 01/10/2008 14:36


sorry, we currently have no gigs listed for this act.