Bowling for Soup in Swindon
Having already been up and down the country, the Get Happy Tour bandwagon rolled into Swindon's very own Oasis centre. On display were the likes of Punk-Rap specialists Zebrahead, the unique and hilarious sound of the Bloodhound Gang, and Punk-Pop specialists Bowling For Soup. A stellar line-up that did not disappoint.
Vocalist and lead guitarist Jared
Opening the gig were relative unknowns Army of Freshmen, who turn out to be the real surprise of the evening. Their power-pop-punk anthems strike a chord with the oasis crowd, who truly show their appreciation with some fairly erratic dancing, which seemed to continue throughout the evening.
Next up are Zebrahead who simply leave the stage in pieces after their rampage of rap-tinged punk. It's the heaviest and fastest gig crowd get all night, boding well for the more hardcore members of the Oasis audience this evening. Zebrahead absolutely thrive on an audience's of this size and the crowd's enthusiasm visibly starts rubbing off on the band who give ever ounce of energy they have. It's a set that truly sets the stage (and smashes it) for the evenings headline acts.
The Oasis crowd definitely enjoyed the performance
The Bloodhound Gang are somewhat of a forgotten band. After the huge success of their 2002 album "Hooray for Boobies" (gives a kind of in-sight into the bands approach) and the classic "The Bad Touch", they fell into obscurity, however they show the Oasis exactly why we all fell in love with them in the first place. Before the music had even started, bassist "Evil Jared Hasselhoff" begins to fire t-shirts into the crowd from an amped shaped cannon. This was just the beginning.
One for the ladies:
Bloodhoung Gangs bassist
They launched themselves into a set that consisted of classic tarcks such as "Ballad of Chasey Lain" and "Fire, Water, Burn" and of course "The Bad Touch" which brings the set to a close. They manage to leave a constant grin on everyone's face, and with new track "Screwing you on the beach at night", it looks like they've returned to their comedic best. A great evening with surely one of the world's funniest bands!
Over the last several years, Bowling for Soup have become one of the biggests pop-punk bands post Blink-182. For me personally, the summer of 2002 is a vivid memory of sitting beside the swimming pool every-day, and listening to the track "Girl all the Bad Guys Want" on the radio. So the evenings exploits prove to be something of a nostalgic experience for not only me, but many other members of the Oasis audience.
Say it don't spray it:
The crowd were treated to some onstage antics
The band were warmly received by the Oasis crowd, who sing along to almost every line of every song the Band offer up. This goes down well with the band who begin to offer up their usual dose of comedic input between songs. The band churn out the hits with songs like "1985" "Punk Rock 101" and "My Hometown", but it's the new material which seems to warrant the most musical merit. It shows a new sence of maturity, which Blink 182 managed to pull of on their self titled 2005 album. If this new sense of musical direction pulls itself off, it could provide Bowling For Soup with a new lease of life. However one feels the purpose of this tour is not to musically enlighten, and they continue with their biggest hit to date "Girl all the Bad Guys Want".
All in all, the concert is not only a massive success for the bands associated with the Tour, but for the Oasis Leisure Centre, which manages yet again to pull of a superb evenings exploits. With acts like Hard-Fi and Beverly Knight in line to play the Oasis, its making the future look increasingly more bright for the future of Swindon's "Big Gigs"!
Review - Robbie Thomas
Photos - Bill Taylor