Pyramid Centre, Portsmouth

Real big Fish

The journey to the Pyramid Centre in Portsmouth was like a pilgrimage to visit the pharaohs of ska rock, Standing almost alone in the middle of the room waiting for the gig to start, up step the “JB Conspiracy” from Guildford, with their two tone roots showing, and tear out a fresh sound that clears the head of all crap and invites you to introduce your feet with the floor repeatedly.

JB Conspiracy

Which is exactly what happens as suddenly the floor is full, as the population of the room close in and now every ones is moving every limb they own and possibly some they don’t. The guys up on stage are holding all the cards and know how to deal the aces, with a relentless beat, deep walking bass, massive build ups from the brass, and vocals that don’t let down, held with tight machine gun guitars, at this point no other band can open for Reel Big Fish the amount of audience participation within a few songs just shows JB Conspiracy mean business.


Next up jumps the Californian enthusiastic, energetic and brightly coloured “Orange”, whose front man Joe Dexter resembles a twisted Adam Ant who’s spent the night consuming energy drinks. Undeniably upbeat pop punk guitars carry out riffs that give the audience a slice of the warm orange county weather and vibe reinforced by Billie Joe esque vocals.Cheeky grins and fun props punctuated with the obligatory jumping, definitely show Orange are into their theatrics but give off a warm sound reminiscent of 80’s movies. Then of course the moment everybody has been waiting for as the top gets blown off Portsmouth’s Pyramid as out burst the enigmatic Reel Big Fish With an abundance of songs both original and revamped to perform, the only guarantee given is that it will be one hell of a show, and that is exactly what gets delivered.

Reel Big Fish

Not a single person in the place could stand still as the infection of fun filled ska punk begins spreading, not surprising with some of the best known, crowd pleasing tracks such as “Monkey Man”, and “Ban The Tube Top”. Reel Big Fish are nothing but entertainers and long since proven musicians who pull off every track with ease and enthusiasm. Fast paced guitars matched with fulfilling brass sections and excellent banter between band members that further strengthens the performance. Closing the show with an encore of the well received cover by 80’s boy band “A-Ha”, “Take On Me”. As they leave the stage and the house lights come up all that is left is the fiery excitement that only ska can give.

Set List
Everything sucks
I want your Girlfriend
Good thing / Your guts
Monkey man
Join the club
slow down
Ban the Tube top
She has a girlfriend now
Suckers / Kiss me deadly
Snoop doug baby
Don’t start a band
Brown eyed Girl
The set up
Say 10
Where have you been / Beer
S.R / F.U

Sell out
Take on me.


Review By Guest Reviewer Rob Funnell.
Pictures By Alex Cook.

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