Live Review: Reel Big Fish – 02 Academy Leeds

Californian third-wave ska legends Reel Big Fish were back in the UK for their usual jaunt through Europe. Bringing with them frequent partners and fellow Californian ska-disco heroes Suburban Legends.

Suburban Legends were first to take the stage, being the nights only support.  Getting stuck right in to warming the crowd up for the night opening with Hi-Fives. Getting the crowd moving with their disco fused punk led by a now moustachioed Vince. Only a few songs in and the crowd were in full swing, dancing and singing to the plethora of covers. From Disney classics like Under The Sea to Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline. Suburban Legends managed to bring out the collective child in the crowd… whilst still maintaining a knowledge of swear words. 

As Reel Big Fish appeared to the Yorkshire crowd. Again featuring Suburban Legends’ Ed Larsen on drums. Noticeably The Fish have started integrating a fair amount of newer material into their live sets, opening with ‘Everyone Else is an Asshole’ and also playing ‘Hiding in my Headphones’ with Matt Appleton doing his best (and not far off) Manchester accent for the Sonic Boom Six verses.

Though the classics were still rooted in the set, playing all the fan favourites such as Where Have You Been, The Set Up and The Kids Don’t Like It. But it wouldn’t be a Fish set without the plethora of covers, including a few new ones such as snippets of ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ and a brief section of Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believin’. Followed by Aaron’s frustrated cry to his bandmates “See I told you we should learn that song! Everyone knows it”.

The Fish as always did not disappoint, with their humour and showmanship, for example Aaron’s behind the head ‘Beer’ solo. The Leeds crowd were treated to a non stop party and responded by skanking from start to finish.

Rating: 7 Slices out of 8
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