Fireball whisky is pretty well known around the world for its pungent cinnamon taste with a heady alcoholic kick, and their tours are no different from their drinks, producing a heated kick to all those who attend, and having previously housed ska legends Reel Big Fish alongside many others, it was time for Less Than Jake to headline.
Opening for the night were winners of the local support slot, colourful punk rabble rousers Well Done You providing a swift kick to sleepy Monday evening gig go-ers. With their punchy and loud punk based tunes with a hyper-sonic edge, they definitely woke everyone up from their post weekend stupor. They played tracks from their brand new EP Not A Doctor Shh! which was released the very same day. They had an extremely boisterous stage presence and lively songs, I’d definitely recommend them as a band to watch.
Following up were the extremely gritty Thieves of Liberty bouncing around the stage like they have been doing this for years. They took the stage in their stride, taking the audience to the darker side of rock and roll with their metallic tinged version of grunge. They would have been well at home in the 90’s playing alongside the likes of Nirvana and Pearl Jam, all whilst providing a solid performance that was well received by the lively audience.
Save Ferris are a ska group hailing for sunny California, a bit of a contrast for the dreary Mancunian weather, but they refused to let that stop them. Bouncing onto the stage with some force, and providing a singalong element playing well known songs such as “Come on Eileen“ they performed with their own hyper-excitable twist which had the entire crowd up and singing. Combined with their sunny disposition and larger than life presence they made for a really fun band to watch and can’t help but bring a smile to your face.
American ska classics Goldfinger haven’t come to mess around, smashing through some of their classic hits such as “Superman” (familiar to those who love both gaming and Tony Hawk) and their own version of “99 Red Balloons” which has the crowd going wild. They combine their own unique brand of punk and ska leaving the room bouncing and everyone singing along. They definitely had the crowd and the venue hotting up by this stage!
Finally, to a very sweaty audience, came the fantastic Less Than Jake showing Manchester that even after over twenty years they still have it. Blasting out hit after hit such as “The Rest of Your Life”, “Gainesville Rock City” and “All my Best Friends are Metalheads” they had the incredibly sweaty yet enthusiastic crowd cheering and dancing until the very last note of the very last song. They proved that even now they are still beloved members of the ska scene and, performing to a packed venue, that they can still pull a killer crowd.
Overall it was a brilliant night showcasing some of the brightest talent old and new that the punk scene has to offer, and Manchester should definitely be very proud of their own offerings too.
Photos by Charlotte Martin Photography