Bowling For Soup, Forever The Sickest Kids, A - Shepherd's Bush Empire, London
With a total of four bands playing on this, the London date of Bowling For Soup's current tour, expectations for a fun evening were high. First of the support acts was The Dollyrots, one of the bands I had not heard of before, but they really impressed. On stage singer Kelly Ogden reminded me of a younger Courtney Love and the crowd really seemed to love their pop rock efforts. When it was coming up to the last song of their set, Jaret from BFS made an appearance on stage to perform a duet.
Next band of the night were the Google-fracking A, and right after appearing on stage broke into song. They were joined by their original bassist Daniel P. Carter after a brief absence from the band. You could see his enjoyment of being back playing again but his comrades were not so energetic (Jason Perry appeared to be glued to his microphone stand for most of their set) but Perry did still interact with the crowd and make an effort to get them to sing along. They ended their set with their most popular single ‘Nothing’ from their third album Hi-Fi Serious.
The main support tonight were fellow Texas rockers Forever The Sickest Kids and these guys were what really got the crowd going, provoking mass screaming for lead singer Jonathan Cook especially. The rest of the band were playful on stage, with bassist Austin Bello pulling faces at the crowd and making a few rude gestures. Their post-emo pop rock kept the tempo up for the headliners.
Now it was time for the band everyone had been waiting for: Bowling For Soup. They have always been an entertaining band when it comes to their songs, videos and also live performances and tonight was not any different. Jaret appeared with drink in han and apologisedfor being a bit tipsy. They break into their first song of their set, provoking the excitable crowd to start throwing things onstage. Beer and plastic cups don't mix well with photo equipment gear so it was time to take evasive action but guitarist Chris Burney’s amp took a bullseye and the resultant loss of lead guitars in the first song. The band continue to play as a technician fiddled furiously and, after they finish their song, Jaret gives the crowd permission to punch who ever threw the cup of water a punch in the balls.
With Chris’ amp back in action they continue with the rest of their set and carry on with the entertainment. The screaming had continued for BFS and there was a lot of movement around the stage, and each member was interactive with the audience, they definitely got everyone going and it wasn’t long before the hordes of crowd surfers were heading their way.
Between almost each song, Jaret would continue to thank people for coming and the buzz of the corwd was very evident. It was a very entertaining night with a really great selection of bands. I don’t think anyone went home disappointed and it was most certainly value for money. Some decent music, a bit of a laugh - all added up to a fun night out.