@ Newcastle O2 Academy, October 19 2010

The Texan boys were back in town…again. Visiting the o2 academy once again this year, Bowling For Soup were just as lively, just as funny and just as immature as ever. But this time they brought a whole host of friends to party with.

The Dollyrots kicked off the night with an enjoyable set, fusing Bowling For Soup’s fun with Joan Jett style vocals. It comes as no surprise then that the band has covered Jett’s Bad Reputation for new film Easy A. For a relatively unheard band to perform on an undercard that features A and more than hold their own is staggering and well worth a mention.

What was more overwhelming was the crowd’s response to Forever The Sickest Kids. With warm applause greeting the Texan six piece, not much could have been expected but by the end the very mixed crowd united for an outstanding ovation. And it was nothing more than the pop punks deserved, seamlessly moving from crowd interaction to belting out songs with an ease even rock veterans can’t achieve.

Nostalgia seemed to fill the room for the final support A. Although putting in a solid shift that was to be expected, the husky and serious tone of much of their back catalogue felt slightly off kilter with the rest of the night. Forever The Sickest Kids had warmed the place up to boiling point and it wasn’t until 90s hit Nothing echoed round the room that the crowd really responded to the Brit rockers.

Taking to the stage with just over an hour until curfew, it seemed that Jaret and the boys might have to cut out a few of the classics. But as ever the blend of comedy and fun rock n roll won the night. Mixing up the set with tracks from pretty much their whole history, the proud Texans aren’t afraid to have fun, drink vodka and slip in burps, your mum jokes and everything in between.

The crowd who seemed to consist of every demograph possible proves BFS aren’t just for 30-somethings to relate to. The fact that the band has been together 16 years, spanning seven studio albums and never really had the time they deserve in the spotlight is shocking.

The Bitch Song, Girl All The Bad Guys Want and 1985 went down equally as well with Punk Rock 101, High School Never Ends and the finale for the night A Really Cool Dance Song.

The camaraderie between all the members of the band – not just lead singer Jaret – is why they are still pulling in the crowds. From plus sized Chris (performing ‘pick-tricks’ throughout), bassist Erik and even the only silent member, Gary, on drums everyone serves their purpose.

The most impressive track of the night has to be an outstanding cover of Bon Jovi’s You Give Love A Bad Name. It’s impossible to leave a BFS gig without cracking at least one smile, be it a guilty one or a belly laugh. The boys will be back and with a new album in the works, they look like they could be here to stay.

Andy Spoors