Epic Studios, Norwich October 24, 2023
by Jan Kelly
Whoever would have thought of opening a punk gig with I Just Can’t Wait To Be King, and a cover of Mamma Mia? Punk Rock Factory, that’s who.
They burst onto the stage full of energy with their songs pop-punked up to the max.
Surely nothing like this has been heard here before, and somehow they have the energy to keep it up for an hour and a half. They just don’t stop!
Hailing from South Wales, the lifelong mates started playing iconic tunes from their childhoods – think Disney and theme tunes from kids’ TV shows – in their home production studio, The Sausage Factory, in 2014.
Now with millions of online fans (The Sausage Army) and a bunch of self-released album behind them including their latest, It’s Just A Stage We’re Going Through, songs from Grease, Les Mis and The Greatest Showman are getting the PRF treatment.
Tonight there are Disney hits, a bit of Running Up That Hill (Kate Bush), the Pokémon theme tune, Thundercats, Alvin And The Chipmunks, Paw Patrol…. Yes, really.
There’s also plenty of banter, and just in case the evening was a bit too normal, there’s a crowd-surfing race on a couple of lilos over everyone’s heads.
The evening is perhaps best summed up by the two encores – December, 1963 (Oh What A Night), originally sung (very differently) by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, and How Far I Will Go, from Disney’s Moana.
Peej Edwards, Benj Allison, Ryan Steadman and Andrew “Kob” Robinson had a bonkers idea when they put Punk Rock Factory together. But that idea does much more than work well – it goes down a storm.