The Offspring: London Wembley Arena

The pioneers of nu-metal prove they still have all the best moves...

This week it’s The Offspring. In a few days Marilyn Manson will arrive to desecrate the Docklands Arena, Limp Bizkit sit triumphantly on top of the

singles charts and even Feeder can walk into Woolworths with their heads held high – ladies and gentlemen, these are great times for The Alternative.

Whatever the fuck that is. When you get right down to it the good bits about The Offspring are the things that have always been good about rock music. It’s the raw sweetness of the ‘woh-ohs’ of ‘Dammit, I Changed’ and the ‘la-las’ at the beginning of ‘Self Esteem’, the sharpness of the riffs that ride roughshod over the top, and the drums that start and stop like a petulant act of God.

When the former sounds fleetingly like Alice Cooper’s ‘Poison’ and the chief players Dexter and Noodles stand gurning with wide-legged stances straight off page one of the Spinal Tap Guide To Rock’N’Roll Supremacy, you do wonder whether alternative means anything at all.

But then, who cares? We’ve long since looked from the men to the pigs and the pigs to the men and been unable to tell the difference. What’s important is firstly their attitude to their fans (always impeccable) and the fact that although they’ve recorded their fair share of crap they’ve got more than a handful of songs for a night like this. ‘Come Out And Play’, ‘Smash’, ‘Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)’ – it’s just entertainment. And, sometimes, there’s nothing wrong with that, is there?

Trevor Baker