Live review: Knuckle Puck With Hot Mulligan – O2 Institute 2 – 29/5/22 

After the release of their new EP Disposable Life earlier this year, US Emo band Kucklepuck brought their show to the O2 Institute Birmingham for their first show in the UK in a long while.

The show was opened by Hot Mulligan, who were playing their first ever UK show. Now, with most support bands, a couple of people might know the songs, but normally most are hearing it for the first time, there might be a little bit of dancing and moving but nothing too serious. Well for Hot Mulligan this was not a normal support set.

To say they rocked hard would be an understatement. I have never seen a support band with so much energy on stage, they would equally be able to hold that stage as their own. And judging by the amount of people singing the words back to every song, they would be able to pretty much sell the room out.

Hot Mulligan had also released a new EP earlier this year, and played a couple of tracks for us from it. And once again, the crowd had done their research, and every word was sung back from the pit, just as loud as the band was singing.

The band shared a lovely ‘Midwestern emo’ moment with the crowd for Analog Fade, with everyone calming down a little bit, before they once again went insane for BCKYRD. I think security underestimated how mad the crowd would be for this show, and at times were not prepared for the crowd surfers coming over the barrier for the last song.

After all this insanity, Knuckle Puck had some big boots to fill with the main set of the night. But once again, the band brought everything and the crowd kept the energy going, with mosh pits, singing and dancing from the off.

Tune You Out was the perfect opener to the set, getting the energy going slowly but surely, and front man turned bass player Joe Taylor got the crowd to open up the mosh pits, and made sure that everyone was having a great time.

This show was also special for another reason: drummer John had broken his hand so could not play, but thankfully the usual bass player Ryan could jump on drums, which meant Joe had to juggle both bass and vocals for this gig. It did mean less of Joe running around the stage and jumping into the crowd like the madman he normally is, but the crowd certainly compensated for this.

The rest of the set was full of banger after banger, with non-stop singing and dancing from everyone there. Green Eyes brought the set to a slightly calmer state, getting everyone to save up their energy for the first big finish of the night. Untitled had everyone singing those infamous opening lines “Silhouettes On The Ceiling”, and luckily security were a bit more prepared for the crowd surfers this time.

You can tell the band were excited to play for this Birmingham crowd, as the walk-off-walk-on was barely two minutes, with the band coming back on to play the one final song they knew in this one time line up.

No Good rocked the crowd one more time, with plenty more moshing, singing, dancing and people coming over the barrier. It’s fair to say that Knuckle Puck had a great time playing their first UK show in a while, as well as Hot Mulligan playing their first ever UK show, and I hope that everyone in the audience did too. I know I certainly did.

As always, a massive thank you to staff, security, crew and bands for putting on a great show and a great night.

Words and photos by Ted Stargatt for TrueStyleMusic

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