Bowling For Soup are a great band in many ways, but one thing I really love is the way they tour twice a year. Once as a full band, and once as a two-piece acoustic pairing featuring Jaret Reddick and Erik Chandler. This is the third time I’ve seen any band at the Oran Mor and, perhaps as a coincidence, they’ve all been humorous acts. The others were Hayseed Dixie and Amateur Transplants.
Erik opened the night with a solo set featuring tracks from his EP “Writing The Wrongs”, which we bought from the merch stand. A good enough set, and he’s a great guy on stage. Funny, quick-witted and entertaining. There were only a few songs, and it was often hard to hear him over the buzz of conversation from those who weren’t bothered about his set.
The second act were People on Vacation, a side-project of Jaret and Ryan Hamilton of Smile Smile. Again, they’ve got a good line in banter and some decent songs to while away the time until the headliners (that’d be Jaret and Erik again) came on. Their style is a little different from BfS, and it’s nice to see someone stretching themselves a little wider musically. As luck would have it, they were bundling their EP in with Erik’s so we got both for a tenner.
The two Soup lads were on stage moderately early with a 10:30 curfew (which they ran over), and video cameras poised to record them for a DVD. Whether this was unique to Glasgow or not I don’t know, but the performance was a good one, so fingers crossed they make use of some of the footage at least.
As they stated on stage, Bowling For Soup have a hell of a catalogue of songs. As such, there’s no real set list when they do these acoustic gigs. Instead, the boys have a “cheat sheet” listing all their stuff and they do react to suggestions from the crowd (or at least appear to!). Tracks played went as far back as “Running From Your Dad” and “Emily” and as recent as “Turbulence” which really suits the acoustic sound.
Of course, there were favourites such as “Girl All The Bad Boys Want”, “Punk Rock 101” and set-ender “1985”. As ever, there are always more songs that it would have been great to hear but with under ninety minutes and some great between-songs banter (including discussion of their discovery of the Scots words “honking” and “pish”), there was no way they’d play every single one.
They were, though, superb. As ever, it seems there will be a full band tour in October to look forward to and if they continue to sell out these acoustic tours then I guess we can look forward to another in a year or so’s time.
Great guys, great music and a great value gig. If you’re not into loud rock music, but like good entertainment from some people who don’t take themselves too seriously, it’s a great tour to catch.