Major Players

Political punks Anti-Flag take to the Lock Up stage fresh from their short stint on the main stage earlier in the day and open in fine style with a faithful rendition of the Clash classic ‘I Fought the Law’.

They don’t get anywhere near the crowd of preceding act Goldfinger proving that even signing to a major doesn’t automatically make you a big band. There are still plenty in though and good sound works in their favour, making them sound more powerful than I’ve heard them before.

The material is fast and melodic and ‘Fuck Police Brutality’ is just great motivating bass player Chris #2 to throw off his bass, jump down to the front rows and go crowd surfing! It’s clear early on that this is a good performance and is far better than the last time they graced this stage a few years back. There’s the usual and expected anti war rant between songs and the crowd lap it all up before letting loose in songs like ‘Turncoat Killer’ and ‘Rank N File’. They get a big circle pit going for ‘Drink Drank Punk’ but it’s ‘Die for your Government’ that steals the day before set closer ‘Power to the Peaceful’.

Whilst it’s a good set and a fine performance there is a bit too much preaching going on from Chris #2, he constantly tells the crowd what to do, seemingly in direct conflict with their overall message of individuality. It’s all just a little sanctimonious and unnecessary but it doesn’t detract too much from what has been a great show. They might have signed to a major and they might have (quite rightly) taken a lot of stick for it but they don’t appear to have lost any enthusiasm and in this environment they are as good as they ever were.