Having graced the shores of the UK at the start of spring, Texan pop punk legends Bowling For Soup (well, two of them) were back to play a run of intimate dates to their hardcore fans.
Obviously here at Backseat Mafia we couldn’t do this review without mentioning the fact that the band couldn’t fully do their UK tour earlier in the year as planned because drummer Gary Wiseman got taken ill, we hope that Gary is on the mend and we can’t wait to see him play live with the guys again very soon!
Billed as an “acoustic singalong” with front man Jaret Reddick and bass player Rob Felicetti, the two graced the stage and immediately it felt like everyone in the room were friends that had known each other for years. Before they played a note, there was banter between Jaret and the crowd; “what a courteous fucking crowd Huddersfield” exclaimed Reddick as they dropped into the classic Ohio (Come Back to Texas).
Bowling For Soup are the kind of band where yes, they stick to a setlist, but they react to the crowd and the random things that get called out and tonight for some reason decided to drop into a cover of Tribute by Tenacious D much to the delight of the West Yorkshire crowd. Post cover, Jaret produces a kazoo which he states is a “Jaret Reddick signature” that can be bought at the merch stand downstairs and the pair play I Wanna Be Brad Pitt from their latest album Pop Drunk Snot Bread which goes down a treat.
The great thing about Jaret Reddick and the guys from Bowling For Soup is that they aren’t shy to talk about serious things as well as making fart noises and talking nonsense, and before the track Turbulance, Jaret spoke openly about his struggles with mental health and the stigma surrounding it. This was refreshing to hear a male speak about suffering with mental health problems and the message that if someone like Jaret suffers and can speak about taking tablets or going to therapy, then it should be ok for everyone to speak about it.
Tonight, each song got a little introduction and before they played Stacy’s Mom (famously NOT their song), Reddick spoke about how even Rob, who is relatively new to the band, got mistaken for the drummer in Fountains of Wayne (the actual artist) by a member of his own family! Halfway through the set, Jaret tells the crowd that Rob, because he is so young, can’t do a full set without needing to pee so Reddick is left alone on stage. He drops into a cover of Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash but adds kazoo into the end… genius! When Rob reappears, Jaret then leaves him alone to play a song to the wild Huddersfield crowd, he chooses Free Bird… but doesn’t know the words, so repeats the words Free Bird to the tune. Jaret then returns and the pair decide to sing a rendition of Sweet Home Huddersfield, this gave the audience a giggle and whilst the band took a break from the music, they decided to Facetime Chris Burney, guitarist for BFS whose birthday it had been the day before, a real treat for the fans.
Another poignant moment in the night was when Jaret played Royal Family from his solo album, he dedicated thge track to his wife who has just flown in that day and got visibly upset when singing some of the lyrics. The track clearly strikes a chord with Reddick and it felt special that we got to hear the track live.
Whenever the first riff of Girl All The Bad Guy Wants is played everyone always loses their shit and tonight was no different, the night had lived up to it’s name as an acoustic singalong and everyone was close to losing their voice from singing so much. Closing with the absolute classic 1985, tonight has been a real treat for the fans. BFS never ever disappoint and today was no different, it doesn’t matter if it’s full band plugged in or acoustic, they will always put on a great show. (They also maybe let slip that they’ll be back later in the year so make sure you get tickets!)