The Living End
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As the house lights dim, and [spunge] emerge onstage with the A-Team theme tune ringing in the background, it becomes apparent just how popular this band now are. Throughout their set, a good proportion of the crowd are dancing, singing along or tapping their toes and it is certainly a lasting mark of the effort they’ve have put into rejuvenating Britain’s once flagging ska-punk scene. Having toured themselves silly over the last few years, [spunge] have become one of the tightest live bands in the country and tonight they don’t put a foot wrong. Playing a set which includes Lyrical Content, Ego, No Woman, No Cry, and Kicking Pigeon, it’s one bouncy ska number after another. Despite the recent criticism they’ve encountered, I’d challenge anyone to say that [spunge] aren’t one of the best live experiences you’ll ever see. Their shows are full of energy, bounce and youthful vigor and it’s obvious that the band are enjoying themselves. They’ve made no pretences about being “punk”, or being “ska”; [spunge] do what they do, and they do it better than anyone else! After years of touring, and working hard [spunge] deserve every once of success they get, and long may they continue. The only criticism I have of their show tonight was the worrying amount of young girls, screaming and jumping up and down on the spot for the entirety of their set.!
You know when something gets really hyped up and you’re really excited about it, but when the thing actually happens, it’s actually really rubbish?! Like England football matches or channel 4 sitcoms for example. Well, that’s how The Living End’s show was for me. For weeks I’d dreamt of a rip-roaring, sing-along, fun-filled sixty minutes. What I actually got, after a promising start, was about fifty minutes of pointless, drawn-out, self-indulgent crap! Kicking things off with Monday an Roll On, The Living End burst onstage to a heroes welcome. From then on, things could only go downhill, however, as the band aired far too many new songs for the crowd’s liking. In amongst the songs, singer/guitarist Chris decided to showcase his guitar playing ability with more solos than a Bon Jovi concert. I didn’t pay £9 to watch a one man ego-trip! The end of the set picked as the band finished with West End Riot and Prisoner of Society, but by then, I was already past caring. Throughout the show, audience participation with the band was notable only by its absence and I left filling totally unsatisfied. It was a gig that promised so much but delivered…nothing! [spunge] were the only good point of the evening and went some way to justifying the money I had spent. I’m not sure how the rest of the tour will go but for now, it’s [spunge] 1, The Living End 0.