For those who favour abbreviations, the tl;dr version – this was a great, great gig. If you’ve got a chance to catch any of the dates coming up, then get there. OK, long version…
First off, my apologies to Armstrong who we’ve featured as Band of the Day in the recent past. Due to interviews with the other two bands (which will be published shortly) running on, I didn’t get upstairs into the main hall until shortly after Boy Jumps Ship came on stage. What little I heard filtering down the stairwell sounded good, and I’ll have to keep my eye out for them playing live again to give them a proper chance to impress. Certainly, Joe Ragosta was full of praise for them when they came downstairs during our interview.
Boy Jumps Ship aren’t a new band as such, but one just starting to make waves and who are releasing their debut album in a couple of weeks. We reviewed it and were suitably impressed – pick it up from April 22nd! On tonight’s showing, they are a band who can carry it off live as well.
Playing a few songs from forthcoming album Wake Up as well as some older material, they had hands clapping and fists pumping from the off. There were definitely some fans up the front, screaming out the words to the songs I’d not heard before (my only exposure being to that new record) but BJS weren’t interested in only playing to the converted – they were out to snag themselves a bagful of Patent Pending fans.
It certainly looked like they did so, and deservedly. Taking little time to talk to the crowd except towards the end – my only real criticism, but forgivable given their abbreviated support slot – they powered through a tight set with a ridiculous amount of energy. You just feel that they were really just getting going when their thirty minutes were up. Fifteen more minutes and they’d have had the chance to genuinely crush the crowd, especially as there were still people arriving during their set who hadn’t had the chance to see them from the beginning.
Patent Pending’s Joe joined them for a large part of “Turn Up The Radio” which is a good enough track as it is without adding a guest appearance. Trust me, talking to him before the gig he’s hugely impressed by Boy Jumps Ship and this was a great way of stamping the Patent Pending “seal of approval” on the support act.
Finishing with the first track (and first single) from the new album, the crushing “Burn” was a good choice. An absolute rocker, this is a song that defines the band. Crushing, catchy and energetic this was the perfect one to end on if they wanted to leave the crowd wanting more. And if they do want it, they should be heading to Stereo on May 3rd where the band will be playing a headline slot.
With typical aplomb, Patent Pending didn’t come onto stage in “normal” fashion. After all, why clamber up a couple of steps when you can run through the audience pretending to be a Price Is Right contestant while a roadie (guitar tech, actually) waves a sign saying “APPLAWS” (sic)? This pretty much set the tone for the rest of the evening which was all out, mad, emotional entertainment.
There was no surprise when the band kicked off with “Started in my Head” from recent release Riot Heart Rebellion. As Joe confessed afterwards, the band had obviously plagiarised the famous Glasgow “Here we, here we, here we fucking go” chant for the beginning of the song. You can tell when you’re at a concert with real fans when they’re bouncing around and singing to a new song that they already know by heart.
Wasting no time, Joe was in the pit holding hands with the front rows, shoving the microphone into their faces and threatening to walk on their heads even before the first chorus. Patent Pending never turn up to just “play a gig”. They’re there to have a party with their friends – and friends join in.
“Classic You” followed with Billie Joe Armstrong covering Jaret Reddick’s lyrics (OK, so it was Rob Felicetti, but he does a damn good impression) . Early in the gig we had the regular “crowd swimming” competition between Joe and his brother (and sometime vocalist for the band) Rob. As of tonight 4-1 down, it was pleasing to see Joe bouncing like a loon as he picked up his second win of the tour while Rob grabbed Marc Kantor’s guitar to round off “I Already Know”.
All this and we were only a couple of songs in. The title track from the new album followed with it’s ridiculously catchy “Oh-oh-oh” singalong hook. Talking of hooks, curled fingers were raised in the air as the crowd pirated their way through “Psycho in Love” before we hopped back to the new album for “Last Time That I Saw You”.
In all, Riot Hearts Rebellion did well in terms of songs with three tracks making it to the setlist though it’s a shame there weren’t a couple more. Personally, I’d have loved “NSFW” and “Dating a Dick” but I’ve no complaints about the ones they did choose to bestow upon us. “Six Feet” is another old favourite that just designed to have the audience stomping up a sweat before the band paused for what was the longest non-singing part of the show.
These are the parts that make a Patent Pending show for me, and also – in my opinion – elevate Joe to one of the top frontmen going. There are singers who grab an audience by their very core at a rock show and get them wound up and thrilled – we’re spoiled for choice, frankly. But there are very, very few who can emote the way Joe does. Almost every other microphone-bearer will aim for excitement, perhaps even incitement. With talk of how great the audience is or how much governments suck or how “The Man” is out to put us all down they place the audience in the palm of their hand.
Now I hope I don’t sound twee here, but Joe invites the audience into his heart. Their branding of their fans as a “second family” isn’t some cool slogan for t-shirts. I’ve witnessed him crying on stage as he leaves a message for his partner on her mobile. He almost managed to make a speech about depression later in this set without his voice cracking (almost) and it’s this openness and vulnerability that make him such a wonderful person to have up on a stage.
Tonight I’ll confess I had a tear in my eye. Had my wife been there I can tell you she’d have been dripping like a leaky tap. During our interview pre-gig, Joe had to pause as he took a call from home as his year-and-a-half old daughter had had a fall and ended up in hospital as she’s been struggling to walk afterwards. Believe me, talking to him about this little child and as a father myself I know exactly how he feels about her. By the time he reached the stage, the doctor must have seen her as it was revealed that she had broken her leg and would be getting a cast on it.
So he had her on video chat, and asked the audience to wave to her. Moments later a chant of “Get well soon!” erupted and then Joe sat down with an acoustic guitar to sing “Spin Me Around” to her – one of the crew held his phone in front of him so she could watch. This was an incredibly intimate moment to share with a couple of hundred people and looking around I wasn’t the only one who appreciated this – indeed I heard several people talking about it when I left the gig afterwards. Towards the end of the song, the phone was turned around and Joe invited us to sing the final chorus to her. Needless to say, voices were raised and at the end she got a huge “We love you, Everly”.
I honestly can’t think of another band who make you feel a part of their world as much as Patent Pending. So few bands invite you to feel the downs as well as the ups and it’s one reason I hate to think about missing a Patent Pending gig (I’ve missed two in recent years and gutted about both!).
The tempo was raised as we hurtled towards the end of an abbreviated set. Sadly, due to Glasgow’s random curfew regulations, tonight’s show had to finish at 10pm so we got around 3 songs less than other dates. Still, the breakneck hurtle through “The Whiskey, The Liar, The Thief”, “One Less Heart To Break” (prior to which Joe admitted he’d recently failed to follow his own advice to talk to other people when you start spiralling into depression) and “Hey Mario” was every bit as enjoyable as you’d hope for. The latter ended with two random people from the crowd being dragged up as they’d turned up dressed as Mario and Luigi – kudos to you, whoever you are!
A very short break was followed by the band launching into a two-song encore: the superb “Brighter” and the equally as superb “Douchebag”. When the band next left the stage, that was it for the night and a Classic Grand-ful of happy punters made their way outside with sweaty armpits and a warm, fuzzy feeling inside.
Tiny negative point, just needing to be made, is that during the songs I found Joe’s mic to be way too low so a lot of the lyrics were buried. Other than that, top notch performances all around and once again I’m left wondering why the hell Patent Pending aren’t headlining the ABC. Yes, I love seeing them in these intimate venues but they truly deserve so much more. This is a band that could have me regressing back to my student days and following them across an entire tour.
Come back soon! And when she’s old enough, bring Everly! Have The Dollyrots as support and she’ll have a playmate. Sorted.
Proper photos will be up after the London date. Sadly our local photographer fell ill and couldn’t make it to tonight’s show, so Katie will be getting pics Darn Sarf!