Fans of mainstream punk rock, in recent years, will almost definitely know of Bowling for Soup – if not by name, then by the notorious Naughties staple “Girl All the Bad Guys Want”, with its infectious pop-punk melodies and catchy lyrics. It propelled the Texas group’s popularity to dizzying heights, and even still after many years they can pull in the big crowds with the ability to carry a torch for punk rock.
For instance, Reading and Leeds festivals, this year, heralds their first appearance at the mecca for popular music in over 16 years. In all this time, they’ve still kept their sarcastic sense of humour – and Older, Fatter, Still the Greatest Ever – Live at Brixton represents their biggest headline show to date of their career, regaling their massive Brit fanbase with all their hits and antics, to be immortalised in CD/DVD format.
After the classic theme opening to unanimous cheers, the band barrel into “I Don’t Wanna Rock” with aplomb, still tight as ever after 24 years. Along with crowd participation, the set opener is lively and full of energy as frontman and guitarist Jaret Reddick introduces the recording and videoing of the live album. Playing their hit record Drunk Enough to Dance in full, it means that the aforementioned “Girl…” is played super early in the set (“the best song ever,” as Reddick quips) and the excitement from the audience is palpable – despite its ubiquitous nature in the 2000s, Bowling For Soup still play it with gusto knowing that it is still one of their biggest hits to date.
Hit play and, with the band’s help, get transported back to “1985”.
Seeing as Brixton is their biggest ever headline show in the UK thus far, it’s fitting that they include all their hits – “The Last Rock Show”, “High School Never Ends” and “1985” are a few examples of their more popular tracks. Even after a career spanning as long as theirs, Bowling For Soup still manage to deliver an awesome live show with enthusiasm, and the crowd never fail to participate – a beautiful thing to witness, and a testament to the band’s mainstay status among their fans.
As well as the music, this record is a fantastic encapsulation of live Bowling For Soup fun, with all the jokes, hits and drunken japes that make the shows what they are. However, this CD/DVD combo release is better suited to the long-established fans rather than a virgin audience looking to discover the jesters of punk rock. The jokes and japes are a lot of fun at the concerts, but might begin to wear thin for a new listener; those unfamiliar are best listening to Drunk Enough to Dance (2002) or A Hangover You Don’t Deserve (2004) for the introductory initiation to Bowling For Soup, before diving into their live output.
Older, Fatter, Still the Greatest Ever – Live at Brixton perfectly captures the buzz and atmosphere at their shows, coupled with Texan charm, Reddick’s ongoing commentary (“If you see a camera, act like you like us!”), zealous playing and the jovial crowd reaction. It is a great introduction to the partying pop-punk band, reaffirming that they have no plans to slow down just yet.
Check out a live version of “Girl All the Bad Guys Want” here.
Older, Fatter, Still the Greatest Ever – Live at Brixton Track Listing:
01. Here Comes Bowling For Soup (Intro)
02. I Don’t Wanna Rock
04. Girl All The Bad Guys Want
05. On And On (About You)
06. Surf Colorado
08. Life After Lisa
09. Where To Begin
10. The Last Rock Show
11. Punk Rock 101
13. The Hard Way
14. The Bitch Song
15. Out The Window
16.. Cold Shower Tuesdays
17. Today Is Gonna Be A Great Day (Theme Song To Phineas and Ferb)
18. Running From Your Dad
19. High School Never Ends
20. Scaring Myself
21. Greatest Day
22. Ohio (Come Back To Texas
23. Star Song
Run Time: 73 minutes
Release Date: January 18, 2019
Record Label: Brando Records / Que-So Records