By Chris Patmore, Rock At Night London Correspondent
VENUE: Roundhouse, London—February 11, 2016—Bowling for Soup with The Dollyrots
The general consensus is that punk rock was a reaction to the perceived overblown pomposity of prog rock. Where prog was about superb musicianship and large concepts, together with record company-funded excess, punk stripped it all back to basics: three chords, guitars and drums, and a DIY ethos that spat in the face of the music establishment. It was also a reaction to Thatcher-Reagan politics that was undermining the less privileged in society. By all accounts the initial “punk movement” barely latest more than six months as it was hijacked pretenders, wannabes and the commercial interests they were railing against, and a lot of those angry young men just ended up being grumpy old men. However, the effects of counterculture explosion are still reverberating today. The DIY ethos is still very much alive, more from necessity than as a statement, and three-chord rock is still hard to (back)beat.
Texas rockers Bowling for Soup often get their music defined as “pop punk”, which is something of an oxymoron, in the vein of Green Day. Their music bears more of a resemblance to The Ramones, and their name hardly carries the same punk vitriol of The Sex Pistols or The Damned. The band are currently on the final stages of their first UK tour in three years and Rock at Night caught the band at their sold-out show at London’s Roundhouse, just spitting distance from Camden Town, where the punk spirit has been turned into a tourist trap.
Bowling for Soup certainly know how to put on a show, with a set dressed to look like a bar, and there was actually a bar with people, mostly members of the support acts Lacey and The Dollyrots, standing around drinking as well as interacting with the band during the show. The band had a great rapport with the audience, almost entirely made up of dedicated fans, who were enjoying the music, as well as the banter between songs, which was filled with insider jokes.
Support act The Dollyrots, are also tagged with pop-punk label, and their music is also a stripped-back-to-basics guitar rock, filled with energy and enthusiasm that makes you want to jump and shout along with them. And who ever expected to hear a rock version of flower-child Melanie’s “Brand New Key” thrown into the mix of their original songs? And their cover of Joan Jett’s “Bad Reputation” immediately brought to mind Freaks and Geeks. Look out for our interview with The Dollyrots very soon.
BOWLING FOR SOUP
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Website: Bowling for Soup
Website: The Dollyrots
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