A beautiful Melbourne day saw the punters turning out early for a night of wicked punked up covers with UK’s Punk Rock Factory. With the line snaking around to Sydney Road, Melbourne Music haunt Stay Gold was going to be pumping, so I jumped in line quickly to ensure I saw all the nights entertainment. Melbourne five piece Among The Restless opened the proceedings to a rapidly filling room. It was fantastic to see so many people coming early to take in all the bands and enjoy a bevie or two.
Among The Restless are no strangers to Stay Gold and it was evident from the get-go that they felt right at home. Giving us a quick-fire set of five they had heads nodding and people dancing from their opening song Torn. They are an energetic lot, instantly engaging, quicky winning over the crowd as they worked through their set. Lucy seemed to hit the spot as people progressed towards the stage keen to see a bit more of what Among The Restless had to offer. Finishing out with Someone Else their first single from back in 2020, they certainly made some new fans along with the ones I saw singing throughout their time on stage. Definitely one to check for an exciting live performance.
Also based in Melbourne are alt/pop punk group PAPERWEIGHT. Offering a red hot thirty-minute set, they left nothing in the tank as they got sweaty with the swiftly expanding dance floor of punk rock fans. Once again, these guys are regulars at Stay Gold having played their first gig there just a few years ago. With many fans in their own right, they had the room jumping as they ploughed through their set. Scapegoat was one I really enjoyed, PAPERWEIGHT’s refreshing take on pop punk created a terrific vibe in Stay Gold and set the scene for the headliners. Another appealing local band that I would recommend you check out. We are so flush with amazing music here in Melbourne please go out and find some new bands to support.
It has been a long wait to get Punk Rock Factory here to Australia, but we have been patient, knowing the day would finally come. So on this mild September evening with footy finals in the air the hoards still swarmed to get a piece of punk rock action. With almost 10 years under their belts pumping out punk rock covers of our childhood memories along with other favourites PRF have built a huge following. While I am not so ofay with Tik Tok I’m told that’s the place to be for PRF fans. So it was time to see what all they hype was about, hold on to your hats as I take you through a night with UK’s finest, Punk Rock Factory.
Stay Gold was fit to bulging with punk rock lovers, there was multi-coloured mohawks, there was plenty of tartan and leather but there was also a feeling of unity. People finding their tribe for a night, feeling comfortable in their own skin and dropping their inhibitions and losing themselves to the music. Opening with Pokémon to cheers and screams PRF were off and running, Under The Sea and Power Rangers was a ripping trifecta too get the fans warmed up, keen to see what other delights would make an appearance. Vocalist Peej kept up cheeky banter across the night, the friendship between these guys is apparent from the minute they set foot on stage. Offering up a $200 merch voucher to one lucky fan which quickly had people jumping on their phones to be in with a chance. Mamma Mia had everyone singing in their finest musical voices and You’re Welcome saw guitarist Ryan take to the crowd armed with two mobile phones filming the shenanigans. Of course the sing offs were many and the collective voices were loud and proud trying to claim their side of the room being the loudest.
With so many hits to choose from in their repertoire it was exciting to see what would come next, Thundercat filled that slot followed closely by Can You Feel The Love Tonight. The Farnsy classic You’re The Voice was up next and had everyone in the room raising their vocal range a cog or two, Kob smashing the drumkit to within an inch of its life. SpongeBob Square Pants, Defying Gravity and the Hamilton banger You’ll Be Back had hands waving in their air as they jumped into Running Up That Hill. Benj had the bass covered as We Don’t Talk About Bruno took it up a level, punters singing every word. Let It Go the Frozen classic that took the world by storm was up next, this punked up version was a standout of the night, even the punkest of punks singing with gusto. While the crowd was jammed packed they remained respectful all night, just there to enjoy the music and have a lot of fun. It was really encouraging to see such an eclectic group come together as one after years of missing out on the live music scene. Many would have been happy to end the night there, but I had a feeling they could pull a few more from their punk covers pot. After a brief exit they retuned with a fitting finisher in Down Under. This certainly got the blood pumping and our patriotic chests puffed out. Add to this the Moana ripper How far I’ll Go and it was a setlist of dreams.
Their set flew by in what seemed like minutes but after the warm welcome we afforded them we can only hope that Punk Rock Factory will be back Down Under again very soon. Bringing joy to our ears with the songs of our youth, slung with a modern twist made for an exceptional night of fun. I for one will welcome them back with my punk rock arms wide open.