[photo set from the evening on Flickr]
The Cathouse was the replacement venue for this rescheduled gig from the end of last year, I assume as King Tut’s was busy tonight. The important thing is that People on Vacation did finally make it back to British shores and were headlining a three band bill.
Opener Danny Gruff was a competition winner as fans voted for the act lucky enough to tour with the band through the UK, but sadly due to other commitments we couldn’t get to the venue until after he was finished. I did hear good things about him, though!
Lacey were next up and we caught most of their set. They’d actually opened for Patent Pending and – at the time – main tour support People on Vacation back in April and they impressed then. This time round, perhaps as this was the first date of the tour, they were a little flat to start but by halfway through the energy that caught my attention a few months back was once again showing through.
Lacey are a decent band. Nicely middle-of-the-road with a couple of songs that are really good. They just need that one killer track and they’ll be pushing for headline status.
Our hosts for the evening strolled, ambled and wandered on stage a little after eight o’ clock. A nice early start for a long set that went past the published end time of ten pm. Good value for money!
One of the things I like about PoV – and liked about Bowling For Soup when they once upon a time toured the UK – is that the between-song patter is every bit as good as the songs. This is a band that likes to communicate with their audience and does so at every opportunity.
Yes, they played a strong set – popular new tracks “You May Not Believe In God” and “Punk Rock World” (and more from the new album), first-track-they-wrote “Rainy Day”, covers of Slade’s “Cum On Feel The Noize” and BFS’s “Bitch Song” had the crowd singing along, clapping their hands and – in the case of one particular PR person – dancing like a loon.
But what sold the show for me, what made it special, was the improv. The chatting back and forth with the crowd and the random conversations that started from nowhere and disappeared round the nearest squirrel-infested corner are every bit as entertaining as a show filled end to end with songs.
We found out where Ryan’s favourite place to eat in the entire world is (he also told me this in the interview, so you can go listen to that once it’s up to find out where it is!), how camera envy is endemic amongst photographers, that farts are funny and that Ryan and Jarret didn’t know what “pish” meant until this evening.
And, hey, if you reckon that an acoustic-fronted band can’t rock then you’re wrong. The guys broke two amps (and I think a lead and a guitar) during their performance. I’ve not even seen Slayer do that before! They handled it like pros, and joked their way through the problems which is more than I’ve seen from other bands in the past who’ve sulked and stormed off stage.
People on Vacation aren’t just a band, they’re a couple of hours’ solid entertainment. If you’ve not got a ticket to one of the remaining gigs, then go and grab one!