The Blackout + Straight Lines + The LaFontaines (The Old Firestation, Bournemouth – 24/10/12) ★★★★★

By: editor

Tonight kicks off with a brilliantly executed mix of rap driven eclectic pop-punk from openers The LaFontaines. Featuring Harry Potter’s big brother on bass, sporting vocals not dissimilar to Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy and an equally talented drummer with some epic pipes of his own. The lead vocals though, are delivered by a hilariously witty Scotsman named Kerr, rapping over the bouncy guitars and doing his utmost to get this party started! The between song banter has been well and truly perfected, just completing the package with these guys. Great fun, if you get a chance to see these guys play, make sure you do….Smiles all round!

Next up, Straight Lines providing main support with something a bit rougher round the edges. It’s still probably what most would consider pop-punk, but with a harder, rockier style to it. They actually really remind me of regular tour buddies of The Blackout from back in the day, Covergirl, largely due to similarities in singer Tom Jenkins’ voice. They are both Welsh though, so that could also be it. The songs are perfectly crafted, each one seems to be designed for regular radio play. They may not seem overly innovative coming on after The LaFontaines, which could go some way to explaining the drop in crowd enthusiasm, but these guys have the songs to prove any doubters wrong!

Not that there’s any doubt as to who it is that this crowd are here to see, as the chants of “we are the dynamite” begin. The Blackout have amassed a seriously devoted following over the years, partly due to their music, partly due to their hilarious charm and absolutely helped by their reputation as friends of the fans. Between songs, it almost feels like they’re part of the crowd. The loud, music playing jokers of the crowd, but they’re definitely part of this party. Constantly encouraging people to move, wave, dance….They have their crowd interaction down to a tee. Playing songs from as far back as their EP, The Blackout!The Blackout!The Blackout!, this is a crowd pleaser set. As expected from what must feel like a lifetime of touring, the songs are played with insane tightness. Professional, but fun. The jokes too, are on point, hitting back at a wannabe heckler accusing them of engaging in intimate activities with sheep – “We f**k ’em, you eat ’em. How’s it feel to have our s*men inside you? Like Mother, like son.” A comeback deserving of many medals. The Blackout may have toned down the heaviness as time has gone on, but they still know how to write some decent tunes and get a party started. As long as they keep classics like I’m A Riot? You’re A Fucking Riot! in their set, I will continue to be happy. Still smiling! What a night….


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