No Use For A Name

support Scrotum
author PP date 24/06/09 venue Loppen, Copenhagen, DEN

I'm not gonna lie. I had been looking forward to the No Use For A Name show for weeks in advance, as they are one of the few bands that I've never actually seen live, and they were of utmost importance to me when I was taking my first baby steps into the wonderful world of punk rock. About eight years later, they're still one of my favorite bands, and I love more or less every record they've put out with the exception of "Keep Them Confused", which felt a little too tame and light in comparison to the band's older stuff. They bounced back big time though with "The Feel Good Record Of The Year", their best record since 1997's "Making Friends" if you ask me. About 150 others who had squeezed into Loppen for an evening of (relatively) cheap beers and great punk rock were along the same thinging lines, but lets start with the supporting act Scrotum before we reach the headlining set..

Scrotum

"The thing is, we smoke a lot of pot so if we forget some of our songs or chords, you'll know what to blame". That's how local three chord punk rockers Scrotum opened their set. Vocalist "Kå" then spent another few minutes talking about the band, which was funny for exactly 20 seconds before I thought "just get on with it already". I wish I hadn't though, because I'll have to go back over a year to think of a worse performance, more than two years for another worse performance, and.... well, nowhere else, because Scrotum landed solidly on the third spot in my worst bands seen live list. Basically, these guys played rock'n'rollish three chord punk songs with outrageously stupid lyrics. That may work in some instances, but Scrotum honestly couldn't write a decent song even if their lives depended on it. I watched for exactly four songs before I couldn't take it anymore and felt like sawing my ears off instead. I wasn't alone, as I saw people walk away from stage in droves, and at least one person even leaving the venue because they were so freaking terrible. Occasionally they'd have stage banter, but all of it was extremely lame, and frankly, entertaining only for people with an IQ of 70 or below. But what's more interesting is that out of the many covers they played towards the end of their set, a couple were actually decent, and a few were so technical that no one could doubt Scrotum's technical prowess (when it comes to punk anyway). So it just seems that these guys just fail miserably as songwriters, which was also evident in a few covers that were absolutely awful. Avoid this band at all cost - why the hell were they supporting one of the greatest punk rock bands of all time instead of being thrown bottles at in some shady pub?

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No Use For A Name

No Use For A Name on the other hand were a completely different story. They didn't waste any time on unnecessary stage banter during any point of their show, which was perfect considering they only had just about an hour to complete a full set. Each song was followed by another almost straight after in the best Against Me! fashion, with the whole band drenched in sweat as they tore through classics from all eras of their career. "Invincible", "Soulmate", "On The Outside", "Dumb Reminders", "Biggest Lie" and "International You Day" were all played solidly, with the band taking as much advantage of the small space as humanly possible. They may not have jumped around like madmen or stormed across the stage, but that's because there wasn't any space for that. On the flipside, the band appeared even tighter and more punk as a consequence, their set was a zero-bullshit, no-frills, straightforward punk rock setlist, just the way it should be at shows like these. It really felt like a basement show where everyone was dancing and singing along as much as possible, even though it was fairly difficult to hear Tony's vocals because of the poor sound quality at the venue.

Every now and then the band did stop for a moment to address the crowd, like when Tony asked the crowd to sing the "Fuck you, that's my name" part from the intro of "The Answer Is Still No", but even here he was brief and didn't spend any time on holding any practice sessions like so many other bands do (and I hate it). It's due to these sort of things that No Use For A Name are referred to as a punk band instead of a pop punk band despite their relatively light sound; the band looks, acts and is so goddamn punk on stage without any additional bullshit needed. They came on stage, played more awesome songs than I could count (including loads from "Making Friends" and "More Betterness"), and left without an encore. Had the sound been better, this would've easily been rated higher, because they were one of the tightest bands I've seen in a while.

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Setlist:

01. Invincible

02. Wrong

03. Reminders

04. Answers

05. Soulmate

06. Garden

07. 2 close

08. Rainbows

09. Outside

10. Room 19

11. Fiona

12. Friends

13. Exit

14. Mirror

15. Let Me Down

16. You Dolly?

17. Justified

--Encore--

18. Lie

19. (something illegible)

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