Earlier this year California pop-punk unit Zebrahead joined forces with MAN WITH A MISSION for a nationwide tour. Now it was time to repay the favor, and as part of their European tour the wolf-headed five-piece took to London for the first time as openers at the O2’s Brooklyn Bowl.

Having made their UK debut earlier this year at Download Festival, the band was primed to take on the country yet again, and not wasting any time kicked into a short but sweet set of classic bangers and new tunes including Out of Control performed alongside Zebrahead’s Ali and Matty. The crowd lapped up the career-defining distance, FLY AGAIN, and database, and a unique rendition of Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit, with guitarist Jean-Ken Johnny adding a blend of rap-rock lyrics to the classic grunge anthem.

For a band who has had barely any exposure to UK audiences, bar a festival appearance and the release of their split EP with Zebrahead earlier this year, MAN WITH A MISSION managed to capture the attention of the crowd with a high octane set of powerful tracks from across the band’s short yet already highly regarded discography.

It was a fine showcase of classic and new breed pop-punk, and MAN WITH A MISSION proved once again that they’ve ticked all the right boxes to make a splash on country’s punk rock scene. As 2016 rolls round, hopefully, it won’t be long until we see these guys in UK venues once again.

Words and photos by Charles Shepherd

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