Less Than Jake descended on the UK with the first show at Portsmouth's Wedgewood Rooms this week.
Review by Thomas Dabnut Eacott:
I arrived early, to a near capacity Wedgewood Rooms, and the atmosphere was already buzzing with excitement. The room is full of people you know and recognised from the local scene; tonight is going to be good.
Random Hand took to the stage and started to generate movement from the moment go. I have seen them many times over the years, and they never fail to deliver. Old favourites such as Anthropology, Anger Management and Play Some Ska sounded massive alongside some of their newer tracks. However, what strikes me the most about their set is how down-to-earth and genuine front-man Robin Leitch is when he talks to the crowd.
Maybe it’s because he’s northern but you just know that he means every word he says and that the band is having as much fun as the crowd.
When Less Than Jake arrived on stage the Wedge is full and things are set to go off. They open with ‘Scott Farcas Takes It On The Chin’ and the whole room starts dancing and singing along.
Followed by ‘Happyman’ and ‘9th At Pine’, Less Than Jake then drop ‘Good Enough’ from their most recent album, ‘See The Light’. And nothing changes. People are still dancing and people are still singing. It’s like the song is from 1998, not 2013 and it’s a testament to LTJ’s fanbase and their ability to still write a massive tune.
When most of the bands from Less Than Jake’s era and scene play a new song at a gig, everyone goes to the bar and shouts for them to play one of the old ‘hits’. Not with Less Than Jake. With Less Than Jake, people are as hungry for the new stuff as they are for the old. They even play two songs from, arguably, their most controversial album, In With The Out Crowd.; ‘Overrated (Everything Is)’ and ‘The Rest Of My Life’; and people are still dancing and singing along. ‘The Rest Of My Life’ is a particular highlight and, in a change from the album version, it starts with a quieter clean guitar and builds until the rest of the band come in for the second half of the song, with the horns playing the lead guitar line.
The rest of the gig is as expected from a LTJ show. All the old classics are played, plenty of in-between song banter, giant beach balls, toilet roll flying over the crowd, someone dressed up as the Evolution Kid, mosh pits, circle pits, crowd surfing; chaos. The show comes to an end with a triumphant ‘Gainesville Rock City’, with everyone dancing and singing one last time (until the next time).
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