It’s safe to say Dave and I have quite varied musical tastes and provide very little overlap. In fact if you drew a venn diagram of what we listen to it would look something like this:
So of course when Jaret Reddick, Bowling for Soup front man announced that he was doing a solo tour, you can bet your sweet ass we were getting tickets. Before I go into a review of the gig let’s rewind slightly to earlier in September and me bored on a train to Eastbourne. Idly scrolling though my instagram feed and I see that Jaret is asking people to post pictures of themselves doing their best ‘Jaret Faces’ to win 4 VIP tickets to a gig of their choice. Now, it’s 6 hours to get from Newcastle to Eastbourne, (it’s literally the other end of the country you know) so to pass the time I thought i would post a picture of me and Emma (also a massive BFS fan) pulling our best Jaret Reddick faces:
And then I forgot all about it. Until 7am on a Tuesday morning when I woke up and checked my phone as I always do and saw that Jaret Reddick himself had tagged me in something. My sleepy blonde brain instantly though ‘oh the winners of that competition must be announced, bet I didn’t win’ then I though, hang on a second, he wouldn’t be tagging me in if I hadn’t won right? RIGHT? Our drunk mugs had only bloody won! Now our drunk mugs (along with Dave and my Dad) were off to meet the great man himself!
Despite a few rock n roll admin issues surrounding the Meet & Greet (it started early so we showed up a little late) we were let into the venue and ushered through to say hello and have our pictures take with Jaret. I know people say you should never meet your idols however he couldn’t have been more lovely, he happily posed for pictures with us and loved the story I told him about my dad introducing me to the band, he then went on to suggest my dad have a commemorative tattoo from the onsite tattooist (that was clearly the ‘hilarity’ aspect of the tour title).
We had a few drinks and watched the Lounge Kittens who were supporting – definitely worth checking out for their mashup of 80s cartoon theme tunes alone. We also had chance to practice our kazoo work – something we were given by Jaret to join in with when he played 1985.
I’d seen Jaret and Erik so a solo acoustic tour back in 2010 which isn’t something I thought could be topped however I think this may have even been better (sorry Erik!). Jaret, in my opinion, has never sounded better and I love the laid back vibe of gigs like this and takes me back to the old Storytellers series that used to be on VH1. We’ve all heard the songs of our favourite bands but it’s a unique experience to also hear the stories behind them. It helps that Jaret is a natural storyteller, the right amount of ernest and witty (unlike a lot of Americans he seems to get British humour) and had the audience hanging on his every word.
The highlight of any BFS tour for me will always be the inclusion of Turbulence which is a song I listen to on a weekly, if not daily basis and particularly if i’m having a tough time. It’s the musical incarnation of the phrase ‘this too shall pass’ and that’s something I regularly need reminding of.
Set list wise I couldn’t have asked for much more. I’m naturally more drawn to the more sentimental serious ballads of their back catalogue, being the lyrics girl that I am, and they’re the songs that lend themselves better to an acoustic show. Hearing Where to Begin live was pretty monumental for me as after Turbulence it’s my second favourite BFS song, however it’s always super cool to hear Girl All the Bad Guys Want and The Bitch Song song acoustically too.
Bowling for Soup are such an important band to me, my family and friends and what a pleasure it was to meet such an honest, friendly humble guy. Never meet your heroes? Poppycock! I’m so pleased we got the opportunity to meet ours. Even if our kazoo skills still need a bit of work.