REEL BIG FISH
Support: The Starting Line, SugarCult
Tuesday 4th February 2003
"You're The One", a perfect way to start what was to become a perfect show. The rotating support slot had SugarCult opening tonight, and in their half hour set they played the kind of songs that everyone will grow to love when they hear them. Pop-punk with a hint of 70s rock n roll is absolutely superb in my book, and SugarCult are prime examples of a band who do such music magnificently. This is a band who look, and sound very cool indeed, and everyone in the Barrowlands seemed to love them to bits. Their catchy as hell tunes struck a chord with a large section of the crowd. Songs such as "Daddy's Little Defect" and "Hate Every Beautiful Day" were simply stunning, and "Bouncing Off The Walls" literally had everyone bouncing (although not quite off the walls). Forthcoming single "Stuck In America" went down an absolute treat and they finished a spectacular set with a supreme slice of psychedelic punk rock in the shape of "Pretty Girl (The Way I Love You)". Not even the fact that Drummer Ben decided to play with just a sock covering his gonads could take anything away from a brilliant performance from one of America's most exciting bands.
Next up were young punks The Starting Line. And opening with "Given The Chance " they started as they meant to go on. They sound so much harder in the live environment (their debut album "Say It Like You Mean It" was slightly overproduced in my opinion) and they really do get their crowds worked up. The crowd here tonight loved them to bits, songs like "Left Coast Envy" and "Saddest Girl Story" were fantastic slabs of punk rock, and when they slowed it down for the acoustic "This Drama Summer" they still kept the crowd interested thanks to Kenny's insane stage antics! They finished their excellent half hour with the classic "Leaving" before playing the single "The Best of Me". Excellent set from these youngsters who we will be hearing a lot more of in the not to distant future.
"Everybody's doin' the fish, yeah yeah yeah", the opening of "Trendy" immediately sent the place absolutely mental, the song was superb, and for the next two hours the Fish didn't look back, playing an inch perfect set full of all the old favourites as well as a load of tracks from the new "Cheer Up" record. Aaron was looking his ever cool self in a white Puma tracksuit (!!) and Tyler now sports one of the greatest afros known to man. There aren't many bands who can play for two whole hours without slipping up once, or playing a bad song, but Reel Big Fish have proved themselves to be one of them. Every single song was fantastic, and they weren't short on them either. Old favourites such as "I Want Your Girlfriend To be My Girlfriend Too" and "Everything Sucks" sat along perfectly with new soon to be favourites as "Good Thing" and "Ban The Tube Top" in an almighty fusion of punk n ska. Set highlights included the superb "The Kids Don't Like It", "She Has A Girlfriend Now" and a brilliant run through "Valerie". The "Cheer Up" tracks stood up fabulously well next to the old standards, "Cheer Up" and the brass-now-included version of "Where Have You Been" being two of the night's best. The set wasn't short of two-tone ska numbers, "A Little Doubt Goes A Long Way", "You Don't Know" and "I'll Never Be" being just a few. The set wasn't short on humour either, Scott's hilarious high pitched singing during "She Has A Girlfriend Now" was great and the fact that the band stopped playing to watch a girl get her "firm titties" out in a window above the stage was another fantastically funny moment (It was met by a chorus of boos when a female bouncer decided that it was time for her to go!) The Tyler led singalong "Rock N Roll Is Bitchin'" was excellent, and the three final songs of the main set, the show stopping "She's Famous Now", the A-Ha cover "Take On Me" (one of the best cover versions ever.) and the insane "Sellout" nearly brought the house down. Then the lights came on, and quite a number of people left, but Reel Big Fish decided to come back on for some more. The marvellous cover of Sublime's "Boss DJ" was flawless, and the roof just about came off when they ripped through "Beer".
This was a simply fantastic show, all three bands were excellent, and Reel Big Fish, have just proved themselves as one of the best live acts on the planet.