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Fueling the Fire Tour 2017, O2 Ritz, Manchester

  • Published in Live

After the success of last year’s first ever fuelling the fire tour, fireball returned this year with an even bigger line up to satisfy out taste buds. This year’s line-up had them pulling out all the ska-punk big dogs, Mad Caddies, Anti-Flag and Reel Big Fish and new foot stomping favourites Sweet Little Machine all for the ridiculously cheap price of £10!

Upon arrival, local pop-punk five piece Everyone and Anyone who won the local competition that ran, are pleasing a rather empty crowd. Despite the first night of a 10 day run being sold out, it would appear that the early door time of 6:00pm on a Wednesday night has led to most people missing the talented band. The Rhyl based band play tracks from sophomore EP A Page from a Journal, which is full pop-punk attitude and infested with heartfelt lyrics which the band bring energetically to the stage. The latest single ‘Hanging on a Cigarette’ allows vocalist Rob to show off his unique raw voice, which is unusual to find in a pop punk band, giving them a stamp of originality,  gets a few audience members singing along from the quiet crowd. But don’t be shocked if you soon find these guys filling out venues, they certainly won over the small audience and deservedly so. 

Fireball’s very own Sweet Little Machine were up next and they have been a name cropping up a lot recently after a lot of festival appearances this year. Despite relentless touring though, the band brought nothing but 100% energy and charisma to the stage, even after a small hiccup with the bass during opening song ‘Who Killed the Hero’. Leading man Alex Lantrua oozes charm and easily has the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand, even during ‘D!ckwad prickface’ in which he has the whole crowd screaming ‘fuck you Dec’ to an audience member. The band close on EP titled track ‘Monsters’ which gets the crowd moving and leaves everyone knowing why they were named as Fireballs Hottest Band of 2017.

Manchester Ritz is packed, flooding with brightly coloured hair and Mohawks by the time Mad Caddies arrive to the stage. There is no denying that Mad Caddies are hailed as one of the longest standing and pioneers of ska-punk music, and that becomes apparent when watching them live. It is clear that the whole audience is fully ready for the Caddies as they open with ‘Lay Your Head Down’ before continuing to play hit after hit such as ‘Backyard’, ‘Shoot out Lights’ and ‘Brand New Scar’ as well as many more. They have very little say or very little to prove to an audience who awaits impatiently for the next song from a band that despite such a long successful career, hardly ever seem to come to the UK. The crowd-pleasing ‘Monkeys’ sends the crowd into a frenzy causing the floor to quiet literally bounce whilst ‘Drinking for 11’ has everyone holding onto one another, rocking back and forth, singing their hearts out. The band close on a rather unusual choice of ‘Dixtress’ and exit, leaving the crowd begging for more from the Californian heroes. 

Anti-Flag are a rather heavy choice for a ska-punk-infused line up, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t going to bring their A game. It is clear from the chatter and choice of clothing from the crowd that they are one of the main reasons many people are here. The energy that rips through the crowd during their set in the mosh pits is intense and is a long way from the fun loving skanking during Mad Caddies set. The four piece use this set to stand their ground on their political views, giving lengthy speeches after each song, but the crowd doesn’t appear to batter an eyelid and hang on their every word. They cause the most memorable moment of the night with their remarkable cover of The Clash’s ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go’ which has the whole sold out venue screaming back at them. 

By the time Reel Big Fish walk onto the stage, the audience is both nicely pissed from the free fireball shots being passed about, exhausted from the sheer amount of dancing and slightly disturbed at how brilliant of a DJ Pennywise is. Reel Big Fish are a band that everyone knows at least one song by, whether they are aware is it by them or not, and no that does not include cover songs. Despite them often being mocked as a ska-cover band, they have a huge amount of original songs that this audience have learnt off by heart. The always fun ‘Everyone else is an arsehole’ is absolutely beautiful to hear sang by 1500 people, just as is nearly every disgustingly catchy song by Reel Big Fish. The set list takes the crowd on a travel back to the past when everything seemed much easier, with tracks ‘ Drinkin’, ‘Sell Out’, ‘Everything Sucks’ and ‘She Has a Girlfriend Now’ with a special guest appearance from Sonic Boom Six’s Monique Powell. The band close with a very fitting ‘Beer’ to a nicely extremely pissed crowd before returning to send the crowd into total madness with their cover of ‘Take on Me’. 

The whole night was a drunk infused, leg breaking, fun but sweaty travel down memory lane to much easier days and one that the whole sold audience quiet clearly enjoyed. The large amount of empty plastic cups and deflated mowhawks and sweaty smiles leaving the Ritz proved that. 



Moose Blood, Sound Control, Manchester

  • Published in Live


Today we’re at Sound Control Manchester for emo revivalists Moose Blood. Hailing from Canterbury, the band are doing the UK proud with a refreshing, hard hitting sound.

From the get go the place is packed with people waiting for the first signs of movement on stage. Kicking off the proceedings are the quirky outfit Grey Wind who smash it and get the crowd engaged as much as possible for the forthcoming emo kings. The only thing I wanted to hear more of was some backing vocal harmonies to support the already strong vocal of Steph O’Sullivan. Winter’s Passing take to the stage next, their sound engineer appearing to doze off as the levels don’t seem suited at all. This persists all the way through their set but the songs still manage to shine through and we can see their song writing abilities are on top form. The call-and-return vocals between to the front two are great and the intricate guitar work adds to make their band’s sound something to keep your eye on.

With the support over it's time for Moose blood who hit the stage full throttle. I’ve heard their new single ‘Honey’ in the past few days and didn’t really feel too strongly about it at first. Until I heard it live that is… It’s brilliantly catchy and judging by the crowd’s reaction to it’s a sure fire winner. A few crowd-pleasing oldies get chucked in after words by way of 'I Hope Your Missing Me’ and ‘Cherry' sending the crowd wild. There seems to be nothing this band can do wrong and the crowd seem to hang on every word Eddy Brewerton say’s, singing at times louder than the frontman himself.

By the time final song ‘Gum’ is played, you really get the feeling that this band could be huge in the coming years. With such a large dedicated fan base already growing and a new album on the way I can see them going far. Who knows what’s coming next but surely for these guy’s it won’t fall short of arenas and world domination. Not only that but they’ve already announced tickets for another Euro/UK tour later this year so if you missed out this time, then get your arse in gear and buy some tickets.

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