Those in attendance on Monday night were keen to get down early to secure themselves a decent view of their idols Bowling For Soup; perfect for those supporting, who were guaranteed a decent size crowd.
While we were treated to the humour of MC Lars between acts, it was five-piece Lacey who fully knocked the temperature up a few degrees. With an already growing fan base in the crowd, this pop rock outfit are sure to be a hit with the teenage girls, with their catchy numbers and cheeky grins for the crowd. Songs such as ‘Tonight’ allows the crowd to feel part of the band as they join in with the lads singing “so where do we go from here? Tonight, tonight, tonight.” In fact, the audience needed no encouragement to join in for any of the songs as the band break into another song about a girl that is instantly catchy and memorable. Keep your eyes peeled for Lacey, they’ve got enough sprinkle of pop goodness to grab the teen vote, yet enough oomph that even the hardened rock fan can’t ignore them banging at their heart.
The Dollyrots are firm touring favourites of Bowling For Soup, having graced these shores on several occasions. Their brand of punk rock makes them instantly likeable as each song rolls by and you find yourself nodding your head to the beat. Vocalist Kelly appears to channel a combination of Debbie Harry and Siouxsie Sioux in her vocals, with a little of stage sass of someone like Joan Jett in her presence – whatever the combination, it makes for one strong front woman. A particular hit of the evening was their version of ‘Brand New Key’, although being in the West Country, they had the pleasure of the audience singing ‘Combine Harvester’ back at them. To give The Dollyrots their dues, they didn’t let the crowd’s rendition faze them. The three-piece as a whole are tight; their sound is fast-paced and fun – a theme that run throughout the evening.
Back in November 2013, Bowling For Soup were winding down their touring in the UK; Erik from the band told Live-Music-Scene (editor: a real loss to the Bristol scene, that.) at the time that they were “just slowing down because of family and home lives; wives, girlfriends, kids, dogs, cats, you know, that kind of thing. This far into it, it just doesn’t make sense to us to be 4000 miles away from home for three or four weeks at a time.” Roll on just over two years and they’ve been stomping all over the UK yet again before finishing up in Bristol to bring us the show that we’ve all learnt to love and expect from Bowling For Soup. The pace was sharp, fast and energetic, the crowd was loud and the jokes were even dirtier than on previous tours. As ever, the band churned out all the songs you expect, from ‘Emily’, to ‘High School Never Ends’ and ‘1985’ – which featured Lacey returning to the stage. The Texas-foursome proved that pop punk is very much alive with their mash-up of popular pop punk songs such as ‘All the Small Things’ ‘Basket Case’ and ‘Girls and Boys’. Announcing “we will leave you with the best song ever”, they launched into ‘Girl All The Bad Guys Want’, proving that they are still bursting with energy over twenty years into their career.