Live Review: Bowling For Soup, Manchester Academy

It’s a long way to go for a show, but it’s worth the journey. Having sold out their first night in Manchester on the first day of ticket sales the band added a second night. It wasn’t long before that sold out too. With their biggest show still to come in Cardiff and the entire UK leg of the tour sold out they’re riding high.

Vandoliers open the show, all the way from Texas. It’s a mix of Country and Punk, with plenty of energy. The lead singer throws his guitar around when he’s not singing, and from the smiles on the band’s faces they’re clearly enjoying playing for a full Academy. Knowing that they’re an unknown band to the Manchester crowd they make sure of at least one sing along by ending with a cover of The Proclaimers “I would walk 500 miles”. It goes down well with the crowd who are more than happy to sing along with them. They may just be several people’s new favourite cowboys.

Next up is Less Than Jake. It’s Ska Punk with trumpets, trombones, and great songs. The whole crowd is singing and clapping along, they’re the perfect support for BFS, fun and energetic. It’s not long before the crowd surfers start, but given the venue’s policy towards them it’s kept to a gentle wash rather than the tsunami some venues would have. Chris DeMakes plays up to the crowd for the whole show, clearly having as much fun as the audience are while Buddy Schaub runs around with his trombone like a demented circus compere. They may be the support, but that doesn’t mean the crowd aren’t loving them every bit as much as what’s to come.

The party carries on with Bowling For Soup. It’s innuendo and floating condoms ahoy as they put on a set of their greatest hits. Halfway through the set Punk Rock 101 ends with a Rick Astley song for photos before they carry on with the rest of the show. For a band that has a new album and a new single out they know their audience well, they stick firmly to the classics and with the lyrics plastered across the screen there’s no excuse to not sing along. The venue rules on crowd surfers get firmly ignored and several surfers make it to the barrier during each song. At one point a blown up condom floats to the front, and Jaret takes the time to comment on how weird it is and how much condoms cost. At first the price seems to be £1 before setting on £3. That’s inflation for you.

Review and photos Mark Bestford – Alienation Photography

Bowling For Soup

Less Than Jake