Punk Rock Factory // Adam & The Metal Hawks // DJ Matt Stocks // Live Review // Leeds Uni Stylus
Who doesn’t love singing some classics with a punk twist on them on a rainy and cold Saturday night? At some point in your life, you’ve probably heard a rock cover of a pop song, and chances are that was either from Punk Goes Pop albums or the UK cover giants also known as Punk Rock Factory. The band have embarked on an insane 20+ date tour around the UK and EU.
Punk Rock Factory are a 4-piece pop-to-rock band from Wales. Formed in 2014, the band are now approaching 10 years together. During my research of the band, I was impressed to find out that they actually produce their own tracks, in their own studio named “The Sausage Factory” (not going to lie, I have no idea where the sausage puns throughout this band’s discography and merch have come from), which also plays into how they are able to form a lot of video content when recording. The band have reached an impressive amount of followers and views on their content, only further proving that Disney should make a film one day with a punk rock soundtrack.
Adam and the Metal Hawks have been supporting this band on their tour. The American 4-piece are known for playing classic rock covers with the reminiscent vocals of the bygone era provided by Adam. The band has only been together since 2019, which means this could possibly be the biggest tour each member has done so far, especially when it comes to Europe.
Though not as well known by the UK public, the covers definitely are. The crowd were more than happy to sing along to classics such as ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’, a sure hit cover to open with in front of the Brits. Adam’s vocals were a great call back to the classic rocks era of the 60s and 70s and something I can see older rock fans appreciating. Stable throughout, with enough grit to make you think the man was trained by Brian Johnson himself, it definitely opened up the vibe for the rest of the night.
Adam has great energy as a frontman, and it also goes without saying that the rest of the band have enough energy to fill the stage. The bassist especially had enough of that to match the vocalist, any chance he got he would be moshing his head. Adam had great eye contact with the crowd throughout the night and it only added to the excitement and got fans raring to go and singing their hearts out.
The intermission began with some tracks by DJ Matt Stocksand people took this time to refresh themselves at the bar, and get them all important loo breaks in so they wouldn’t have to miss a second of ‘We Don’t Talk About Bruno’…or other songs but it was probably that one people didn’t want to miss…or it could’ve been ‘Let It Go’, to be fair.
To the uproar of the crowd, on came Punk Rock Factory.Sparing no time in getting into their opener, ‘I Just Can’t Wait To Be King’. The volume of the crowd were matching, if not louder than, the band itself throughout the night. It’s a surprise the band could even hear themselves. This wasn’t a night of coming out to hear Punk Rock Factory, it was a night of PRF providing the instrumental so that the crowd could have their moment and sing a rock version of their favourite Disney songs.
Of course, I jest. The crowd had a clear love for PRF and all they’re doing. Almost like a validation for rocks fans that they can like rock and also Disney songs. The room was filled with these fans and casual listeners alike providing a great atmosphere for people to just let loose and rekindle some childhood memories and feel like a kid again. I don’t think anything will amuse me like watching older men sing their hearts out to the ‘Pokemon theme song’ or people dressed in gothic attire singing along to the ‘SpongeBob SquarePants Theme’.
The band had great energy throughout, their vibe that of just pure fun and a love of Punk. The bassist in particular seeming to have a blast, constantly on the move and doing spins, in between providing vocals. The vocalist/guitarist was feeling the songs and singing ‘Let It Go’ like he’d been personally a victim of having to hide his powers and go on the run after putting an entire town into an endless winter.
Halfway into the night, Adam, of the support band, came out to sing along to the Pokemon theme. People in the crowd were going absolutely insane for this song, almost drowning out the sound of the band. It’s funny being within a crowd where it’s clear we all mostly grew up within the same era with the same content. Adam throwing points and hands to people throughout the track and PRF going nuts on the stage and moving around- I don’t think they make theme songs like they used to…
The band played a total of 21 songs tonight. Which is not only insane but also impressive. The only band I’ve known to go over that is My Chemical Romance during their reunion tour. By the end of the night, despite it almost being November, the crowd was filled with sweat and the smell of BO as people had been jumping non-stop and singing with their mates. It’s clear it was an immensely fun night for all the fans that came tonight.
The gig tonight could be compared to something like an emo night at a local club. Singing along and getting drunk to some favourites with your mates and reliving your child/teen years. The only difference is this time you actually have a band on stage to make it feel like a proper gig. If you grew up around Disney, or even raised children around this era, there is nothing to lose by going and just having fun with friends and family on one of the many tour dates this band will be embarking on. You may find that the tour dates you wanted are unfortunately already sold out, but the band have also announced a 2024 tour with much of the same dates and venues, so it’s worth checking out if they’ll be coming to an area near you.
Review: Jayne Slater
Special guests will be Adam & The Metal Hawks, plus a DJ set from Matt Stocks. Most headline shows are aged 8+ (under 14s must be accompanied, under 16s in Brighton), with just Bristol and Norwich shows aged 14+ so why not even make it a family night out!
Catch PUNK ROCK FACTORY at:
Thu 19th Oct – BRISTOL SWX
Fri 20th Oct – GLASGOW O2 Academy
Sat 21st Oct – NEWCASTLE University
Sun 22nd Oct – SHEFFIELD O2 Academy 2
Tue 24th Oct – NORWICH Epic Studios
Wed 25th Oct – BRIGHTON Concorde 2
Fri 27th Oct – OXFORD O2 Academy
Sat 28th Oct – LEEDS Uni Stylus
Sun 29th Oct – LONDON O2 Academy Islington
Wed 1st Nov – SOUTHAMPTON 1865
Fri 3rd Nov – MANCHESTER O2 Ritz
Sat 4th Nov – BIRMINGHAM O2 Institute
With their last two UK tours sold out in advance, don’t wait to snap up tickets! To buy tickets and for a full list of performances, visit www.punkrockfactory.com.
ABOUT PUNK ROCK FACTORY:
PUNK ROCK FACTORY are the kings of turning any song into a pop punk masterpiece. The boisterous four piece from South Wales take all your favourite tracks and make them sound like you never quite imagined they could! No-one is immune – these four lads have adapted everything from Disney classics and assorted rock & pop hits to TV themes from across the decades.
Since their debut self-release in 2019, PUNK ROCK FACTORY have been steadily gaining a colossal online fan base. The cultural sensations have racked up over 26 million streams on Spotify and 5.1 million likes on TikTok, with over 250,000 followers on Instagram, and over 11 million views on YouTube.
The group rehearse, write, and record everything themselves in their own purpose-built studio, affectionately known as The Sausage Factory. They regularly include a wide range of special guests in their music, which have included the likes of actress/singer Jessica Darrow (Disney’s Encanto), Jaret Reddick (Bowling For Soup), Spencer Charnas (Ice Nine Kills), Simple Plan’s Jeff Stinco – and now Arch Enemy’s Alissa White-Gluz.
PUNK ROCK FACTORY played their first ever live show at the UK’s Bloodstock Festival in 2021 and followed up with a sold out UK tour and slots at Download and Slam Dunk in 2022. The band steamrolled into 2023, selling out every show again on their second UK tour, including their largest headline show to date at Nottingham’s famous Rock City. With Download inviting them back for the second year running next month and their new dates in October/November 2023 already being upgraded and close to selling out, don’t miss your opportunity to catch them on stage if you can!
New album It’s Just A Stage We’re Going Through is out now. The Poor Unfortunate Souls EP is released today, May 26th, 2023.