Fireball UK Fuelling The Fire Tour - O2 Academy, Sheffield 4/10/2016

Ryan Winstanley Photography and Cait Briggs review Fireball UK Fuelling The Fire Tour live at  O2 Academy Sheffield.

Fireball Tour - a celebration of ska and punk saw fans flocking to venues all over the country in the name of punk rock. Arundel Gate’s O2 was just about full to the brim, and for ten pounds, it’s easy to see why.

The bill consisted of national and foreign acts galore, starting with LA punks The Bronx’s alter ego Mariachi El Bronx. The eight piece Mariachi style band were great fun from start to finish despite not fitting the stereotypical ska material seen throughout the rest of the evening. Frontman Matt Caughthran knew how to draw in the crowd, making the performance seem all so easy with his cheeky persona and next to perfect vocals. It’s clear to see why this eight piece are so popular – seeing such a raw performance, with classics such as ‘48 Roses’, as well as a genre so different and unique is definitely an obvious selling point for these guys, on top of their natural ability to perform. This band were definitely one for the optimists in the room, with smiles and dancing all round.

Bringing it back to the UK were London-based ska rockers The Skints. Reggae is evidently a heavy influence with this four piece, with opener 'Rub-a-Dub' establishing the ska feel with their own personal touch. A strong female vocal takes this act from good to great, with Marcia Richards nailing each and every lyric. The crowd bounced around to big hits such as ‘Rat-at-at’ and ‘You Don’t Love Me’, showcasing this hybrid of rap and reggae in an incredible light. Latest album ‘FM’ was also given a great reception, with hits such as ‘This Town’ sending the crowd into a synchronized two step. Wrapping up with ‘Culture Vulture’ left the crowd on a high, highlighting the bands unique ability to incorporate numerous influences into one sound.

Fireball headliners, and US ska punk legends Less Than Jake certainly have the most experience on the bill tonight, which shines through the moment they take the stage with opener ‘Liquor Store’ sending the crowd into madness. It’s evident these guys just want to have fun, with tongue in cheek humour throughout their set, as well as choruses of sing alongs and bouncing around, both on stage and throughout the crowd. The fast paced tunes ensure energy is not lost for one single moment, with ‘Jonny Quest Think’s We’re Sellouts’ and ‘Plastic Cup Politics’ keeping angst present as the set progresses. Frontman Chris DeMakes stays personable throughout, conversing with the crowd, as well as band mates, making sure to be the crowd fired up. A selection of songs from almost every album keeps both old and new fans happy, with crowd favourite ‘History Of a Boring Town’ sending the 02 into a ska party. Despite being a band for over 20 years, these guys have more energy than I ever will, jumping around and singing every word.

Although the energy never eased up, encore and closing hit ‘All My Best Friends are Metal Heads’ took the energy level through the roof, with Less Than Jake veterans shouting each and every word back to the guys. A truly unforgettable scene, with fans of all ages going absolutely beserk for the final song of the night. It’s hard not to dance to this feel good hit.

Less Than Jake made this gig one to remember; the most fun I have had watching a band in a long time. I hope to see these guys carry on for years to come.

Less Than Jake
Less Than Jake - Fireball Tour - 04.10.2016

Mariachi El Bronx Mariachi El Bronx - Fireball Tour - 04.10.2016

The Skints The Skints - Fireball Tour - 04.10.2016