Mental Ska-ing February 15, 2009Posted by Lauren Cooke in Music.
Tags: band, birmingham, Music, Music reviews, pop, punk, rap, Reel Big Fish, ska, Suburban Legends
I have discovered a new passion – “cool” bands who are brave enough to actually feature a dance routine onstage!
This Friday I went to see Reel Big Fish at the 02 Academy, in Birmingham. The gig was good – if you avoided the mad jumping teenagers and sweaty aggressive guys and focused on the music, it was definitely worth a good wiggle and a little bit of skanking. Unfortunately as a member of the infuriated “clumsy idiots” club, skanking doesn’t sit well – it needs easy, no-holds-barred movement, and (worse) for your feet to leave the ground without reservation. I, however, cannot even bounce without risking life and limb, and therefore was reduced to my rather less abandoned wiggle and foot tap, whilst the crowd around me bounced and jived.
The reel (sorry, couldn’t resist) stars of the show, however, were the second supporting act. Following an inspiring band hiding rap under the pseudonym “ska” who screamed their way through a disappointing performance, the “Suburban Legends” were a very welcome change. It also helped that their name was punning genius, and I cannot help but respect a band who manages to find a great title amongst the throngs of dullness.
The performance had me smiling from beginning to end. It began with a collection of funkily dressed (think indie style, with waistcoats and sexy ties), absolutely beautiful individuals (see picture of the rather lovely lead singer above) striding onto stage – and rather than breaking out into their first song, they instead performed a robot inspired dance routine! After such a different start (and getting over the fact that the lead singers mike simply didn’t work), they then launched into wonderfully choreographed ska-pop – full of harmonious trumpet and trombone, plenty of tongue in cheek lyrics, and a drummer with a brilliant ability to spin his sticks in between beats. To keep up the entertainment value, certain parts of certain songs were accompanied by specific moves – fake trumpet/trombone battles, robot dances and perfectly timed air guitar. All in all, I was pretty impressed – and bought the CD on the way out (which I have NEVER done before!).