OPM @ The Independent, Sunderland

Simply looking at tonight’s drink offers is an indicator of why tonight’s show has sold so well. Most popular order of the night:’ Heaven Is A Half-Pint’  a bright green ‘skittles’ drink served in a half pint glass.  For those who don’t know: OPM had a hit in 2001 with a song called Heaven Is A Halfpipe, a top 5 hit that fit in with the skateboarding/pop-rock culture of the early ‘00s. If you hadn’t heard the chorus before you came into the venue then keep an ear close to the crowd’s chants.

The Californian five-piece burst on stage with high energy. This is known as their ‘Lucky 13’ tour to mark 13 years as a band. The audience are pretty lucky to stumble upon this, as they play a mix of material from their four albums. However tracks from their debut, Menace To Sobriety, which create the biggest response.  El Capitan brings more bodies to the dance-floor, an apt drinking anthem for a venue who name their drink offers after tonight’s entertainment.

An unexpected version of Clint Eastwood by Gorillaz starts a sing-along for the crowd as well as a rendition of The Clash’s Should I Stay Or Should I Go? A band the Orange County reggae-skate-rockers compare themselves too.  Both covers make me think they might be padding out for the song everyone is waiting for…

A few upbeat, yet overlooked, hits like Runaway and Horny fill out the set list until the anticipated lyrics: If I die before I wake, At least in heaven I can skate.  This is definitely the climax of the show. Unlike most bands would, they didn’t sign off with their signature hit. A couple more tracks keep us listening until frontman John E. Necro demands they have six ‘Stash Up’ shots onstage (another ‘hilarious’ drink offer) the audience don’t seem to want to part with £6 between them but they end with their minor hit Stash Up.

As the night ends I think the band and the audience both know this wasn’t going to be a life changing gig, more of nostalgia trip for those in their late teens/early 20s. Still a great night out and a very entertaining set from OPM.

(If you were wondering, OPM stands for ‘Original Pinoy Music’. And also sounds like ‘opium’)

Check back soon, for an interview with OPM, from the show!

About Neale McGeever

Contributing Editor - I'm an entertainment writer ('journalist') from the North East. My favourite bands include Slipknot, Nirvana and Ninja Sex Party... I've freelanced for the likes of Kerrang!,Closer, Front, ZOO, and many others! I'm also big in to movies, video games, live comedy and ...beer!

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