LIVE REVIEW: Bowling For Soup @ The 100 Club, London

There is something magical, mystical and mythological about acoustic renditions of otherwise electrifying rock songs. SOUP BOWLING made a name for themselves nearly three decades ago with their pop-punk silliness and wholesome punk rock that would make you laugh through tears. Having literally completed his full electric UK tour a month prior, the singer/guitarist Jaret Reddick and bassist Rob Felicetti returned with a series of intimate shows, ending with the legendary The 100 club. With only half the members and two acoustic guitars under their belts, the question arises: is the bowl of soup half empty or half full?

Lacey lives at 100 Club, London. Photo credit: Jazmin L’Amy

Kicking off the warm, cozy and intimate evening are Nottingham-based alternative rockers LACED. The only thing missing between the sun-bleached carpet and the candle-lit stage is a crackling fireplace. Since he saved half of SOUP BOWLINGThe previous tour from when he was a drummer Gary Wisman had to return home prematurely due to illness, LACEDskin hitter David Pearson traded the popped sticks tonight for a six-string acoustic. with the singer Graham Turner also armed with an acoustic and Josh Levin brandishing the electric lead, pieces like Run away, Older, Too far, Answersand upcoming single Dream with a little less color they were granted an ethereal aura. The trio’s impeccable chemistry helped add an almost celestial air to their harmonies. It wouldn’t be a single chant without a medley of classics, and onlookers were thoroughly warmed up after blaring hymns by JIMMY EAT WORLD, GENTLE CHARLOTTE, FALL OUT BOY, MY CHEMICAL ROMANCEand WEATUS. Literally a job well done.

Rating: 8/10

Don't Panic live at the 100 Club, London.  Photo credit: Jazmin L'Amy
Don’t Panic live at the 100 Club, London. Photo credit: Jazmin L’Amy

Sandwiched between three quarters of LACED and two quarters of SOUP BOWLINGit’s a quarter of american rockers DON’T PANIC. Singer and guitarist Ted Felicetti oscillates between solo tunes and use LACED as a backing band, with a cajon. Whether it’s tracks like I am suffering, second chances, ramonaand Fall of 99 with tow assist, or boat down, Regret is a terrible roommateand What’s a guy gotta do? on its own, chemistry and banter are lacking on both sides. A one-man band is never an easy task, and the acoustic versions of these high-energy tracks don’t do them justice.

Rating: 7/10

Bowling For Soup live at the 100 Club, London.  Photo credit: Jazmin L'Amy
Bowling For Soup live at the 100 Club, London. Photo credit: Jazmin L’Amy

When your band turns 28 with a string of hits, you earn the right to do things for fun. Not because you have to, but because you want to. And it pays for SOUP BOWLING. Among the cozy decorated set are the backdrop of humorous family portraits of Jaret and Rob, looking like an awkward father and son duo from the 70s with knitted sweaters. Despite the group’s last album, Bread Pop Drunk Snotbeing Robfrom the second feature with the quartet, the camaraderie and connection are already palpable. The energy and aura is also more contagious than COVID, with a host of naturally funny jokes and banter thrown between songs, including improvised moments of NEIL DIAMONDit is My dear Caroline and TOM LITTLEit is Free fall’.

Kick off the board with Trucker cap, Ohio (come back to Texas)and The female dog’s song, Rob swaps his bass duties for slide guitar solos galore, while Jaret shows off his kazoo skills on new single I want to be Brad Pitt. As an ambassador for mental health and the recent scare with the drummer Gary, Turbulence and Royal familyexcerpt from Jaret’s solo country record I just woke up, are dedicated to the constant ups and downs of life and the people around us who make them bearable. Also taken from their latest record, pee break is a great idea and more bands should follow it SOUP BOWLINGthe book.

While the first half of the set flowed and flowed effortlessly, the continued procrastination between tracks meant that the band’s biggest hits, and therefore most singable ones, were rushed as time passed into curfew. Despite, Almost, Punk-Rock 101, Girl that all the bad guys wantand 1985 assured that the sore throat would be had the next day.

Intimate acoustic singing bridged the gap between musician and fan more than social media ever could or will. Reiterating that we’re all family at the end of the day, the fans have been there ever since SOUP BOWLING from day one and SOUP BOWLING strive to return this favor again and again.

Rating: 8/10

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