Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Bowling For Soup at O2 Academy, Sheffield

Rating: 4/5
23/10/09 O2 Academy, Sheffield

Only the coldest hearted person couldn’t smile at a Bowling For Soup gig. Despite having families, businesses and being in the band for 15 years, they really haven’t grown up at all. And that's what people love about them as the ‘Party In Your Pants tour’ rolled into Sheffield.

The Leftovers were the first support band up. As they’re signed to Bowling For Soup lead singer Jaret Reddick’s record label, it could explain why they’re on this tour. However, after a few songs it was clear to see they are here on merit as well as connections. The songs off recently released album ‘Eager to Please’ are fun for everyone to jump around to. The Leftovers have a retro sound tinge, it’s the sort of thing that makes you think of a 1960s American diner. They were an enjoyable band to watch, and although their American banter with the crowd grated at times, it was still a good way to start things up.

MC Lars was next up, accompanied by British band Failsafe, who provided the musical side of things for the king of nerdcore. Behind all of the bands was a big projector screen showing band logos or videos to accompany the songs. With MC Lars I could have spent the whole gig just watching his videos, it was a show all of its own. Musically Lars’ rapping may not be to everyone’s tastes but he samples songs that everyone knows, so the least people did was some light head banging.

Zebrahead drew a huge crowd and as they came on to the stage it looked like they could be the headliners from the frantic reception of the Sheffield crowd. They have a party attitude and co-frontman Matty Lewis lets everyone know with the occasional shout of “Happy Hands” and the whacky waving arms fly up around the academy. Zebrahead played an amazing set, the sound quality was top and many were thankful for some good high energy pop punk. The best highlight was a cover of Avril Lavinge’s ‘Girlfriend’ featured on Zebrahead’s upcoming female covers album ‘Panty Raid’. And, the (for legal reasons, not a ‘wall of death’ but) “wall of sunshine, rainbows and lollipops” followed by hugs and dosey does, deserves a mention.

After a slight delay Bowling for Soup took to the stage and launched straight into ‘The Bitch Song’. On a night that had been all about having fun and partying no one does it better than Bowling For Soup. It was a comedy act as much as a rock show, everyone laughing at little comments like guitarist, Chris talked about how he’s going to have sex with every member of Zebrahead. Jaret saw a blown up condom being punched around the room and says “That is the biggest condom I have ever seen, I feel sorry for the girl that has to deal with that!”. The fun and frolics continued all night.

Aside from the comedy some music was also played. BFS play a good collection of material from their new album ‘Sorry for Partyin’ including songs ‘No Hablo Ingles’ and ‘Hooray For Beer’. But mix in some older stuff that the faithful fans will appreciate. The night was topped off with hit song ‘1985’, toward the end of the song Jarrett stops and tells everyone to sing the chorus. Everyone knew it and heartily obliged, it went a step further as the next request was to sing it with an Antonio Banderas accent. Everyone gave it their best. The last request was for a falsetto version and most people again tried their best, some guys decided it was best not to join in that one. It brought to an end a great night, everyone was thoroughly partied out.

Words, pictures and video by Damon Fowler
Comfort in Sound

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