It’s a bitterly cold night in Birmingham as the ‘A Ska Odyssey’ tour rolls its way into town bringing with it Sonic Boom Six, Big D and the Kids Table and headliners Californian Ska legends Reel Big Fish. It was soon going to warm up though!
The support acts this evening are mixed bag, first up where Sonic Boom Six, hailing from Manchester and playing a mash up of punk, reggae and Ska. They didn’t really do it for me, mainly put off by Laila Khan’s vocals, however they did a good job of getting the audience warmed up ready for Big D and the Kids Table.
Having never heard of this band before I had no idea what to expect but boy did they impress. It seems they pulled out all the stops with big screen projected backdrops, backing singers and some quality songs with some great musicianship, especially the saxophonist.
It wasn’t long to wait for the main event as a 2001 (A Space Odyssey) came blasting over the P.A system and Reel Big Fish bounded on to the stage.
The mood across the academy was buoyant with the band feeding off the energy of the crowd and vice versa.
They played a varied set full of original songs like ‘Don’t Start a Band’, ‘She has a Girlfriend Now’ and ‘Sell Out’ and some of their ‘many, many hit songs that we cover’ cue ‘Brown Eyed Girl’, ‘Take on me’ and a great cover of Metallica’s ‘Enter Sandman’!
Watching Reel Big Fish is one of the few times you’re going to feel stupid for not dancing. You can’t help but move your feet and the whole crowd was going for it skanking and jumping on cue a sea of sweating, moving bodies.
Self proclaimed ‘Masters’ of all musical genres they entertained the crowd with 6 versions of ‘S.R.’ for the encore covering reggae, punk rock, blues, disco, country and western and the funniest of all death metal!
Reel Big Fish truly are ‘Masters’ of the live show you’d be forgiven for thinking them a younger band with the amount of energy they create. Even after claiming they were at work you could see in their faces they were enjoying every second of it and in turn so did the crowd. With their quirky covers, fun songs and energetic live show Reel Big Fish is a band you definitely need to see to appreciate how good they actually are.
It proves that getting older doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun and they have definitely proved that tonight!
Review Hannah Sebastjanowicz
Photos Shaz R