Reel Big Ska Fest

Reel Big Fish @ Concord2, Brighton
June ’05

I managed to bridge the 3 week gap with no gigs with another trip to Concorde2 this time to see Reel Big Fish. This makes this the third time i have seen these guys, once at V Festival in 2002, (admittedly i was more interested in my noodles than the band). Secondly at Reading festival in 2004 where i actually listened, but missed half the set, so it’s third time lucky this time. They were supported by a band called Fandangle, who said they are from surrey. Yet they speak with a strong american accent :s (Is there a Surrey in the USA ??). They were nothing special, just another small blip on the punk scene sonar.

The crowd here tonight was by far the biggest i’ve seen here, and also the youngest. You needed to get a wristband at the door in order to buy alcohol, Outrageous!! However this did make for easy runs to the empty bar area, which inturn harboured its own problems. Everyone was packed into the main arena all night. It was like a Swedish chefs armpit in there, so hot and sweaty you could feel the moisture as you took breath. This was only to escalate when Reel Big Fish hop skipped and jumped onto stage. Thier studio albums are no preparation at all for their live shows, all songs have a more raw and adlibbing edge to them. These guys are real performers and have had many years of touring and performing. This showed with their very funny onstage banter as the lead singer/guitarist attempted his best to make the rhythm guitarist cry with insult after insult about his mom! This poor did guy had an unusually high voice for a man and this falsetto vocals added to the comedy antics. This gig really was as much as having fun as seeing a great band, everyone was moshing and dancing away without the slightest care as to who they were running into, little buggers!!

Atmosphere was great and the music was superb even with the odd trumpet solo thrown in too. A 6 minute version of “Where Have You Been” with slow ska tinged verses and manically paced punk chorus. Other set highlights included ‘Sell Out’ and the infectious cover of a crappy 80’s pop song, Take On Me, which i only just got out of my head this morning. If these guys are ever in your neighborhood, go see them, they are great!!

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