What do you get if you take Florida ska-punk legends Less Than Jake, add a little cinnamon-y Fireball whiskey and a scoop of kick-ass support acts? The answer is: a throw-back college Friday party at O2 Academy Brixton.
Less Than Jake’s Fuelling The Fire tour saw them cross the pond and swap Florida’s late summer sun for British music venues. Sponsored by Canadian whiskey Fireball, the Gainesville natives brought a cherry bomb of support acts along with them: The Skints, Mariachi Eli Bronx and Japanese-American skankers Kemuri.
Kemuri got a slowly filling O2 academy out of their work slump and into that positive-mental-attitude state of mind. Hugs all around and cartoon dance moves were just the tip of the iceberg. Then on comes Mariachi El Bronx. The absolute epitome of things you have to have seen live. Side project extraordinaire by L.A. punkers The Bronx, a mariachi band (duh!) playing mariachi punk songs – I mean, you couldn’t be more fun if you tried. And as expected Mariachi El Bronx turned up the heat at the Academy with their set. South London-based reggae band The Skints were especially excited to play a hometown show that night. While the party atmosphere might have been brought down a notch, the amount of people actually dancing was increased by about 500%. A little chill before the explosion so to speak.
Less Than Jake take the stage at roughly 9.30pm and the room goes berserk. It’s an effect the Florida boys have on a crowd, but especially in London. The audience was ready for a party and, boy, did they get a party. LTJ’s Chris Demakes shows his dedication to the tour by appearing in full Union Jack suit – because why the hell not?! There’s confetti, paper cannons, even a drinking contest – who can drink the most shots of Fireball whiskey within two and a half minutes of song. Again, because why the hell not?!
They treated their fans to all the hits and the old stuff, with Chris commenting that bands who don’t play the old stuff don’t know what they’re doing (or something along those lines, Fireball is also very memory-loss inducing). Even after two decades of touring and recording, the band still hasn’t lost its sense of punk mentality, of just having fun and making sure their fans are having fun. Less Than Jake leave the crowd with All My Best Friends Are Metalheads and off everyone goes, into the night, with a desire to party, to hug strangers and just simply be happy.