LIVE REVIEW: LESS THAN JAKE @ O2 ACADEMY OXFORD

10 stars
Now it’s rare I go into a venue and see parents bringing in kids as young as 8 into a show to let their kids watch a band that their parents grew up listening to in there teens but even so I can’t be one to comment too much as both of my parents took me to see bands they grew up listening to live, but if anything it was great to see such a variety of ages going into the venue.

First up to grace the stage were London based Punk band The Kenneths, now over the last few months I’ve heard great things about this band, but seeing them live was a completely different ball game, but one thing was for sure they definitely lived up to the expectations people had given them and beyond. When observing their stage presence it was hard to tell that the band had only been together since February last year, and within a few months of forming the band they had already had the honour of playing Vans Warped Tour last summer, so one thing was certain about the band and that was how passionate they are when they play what they love.
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The Kenneths – Photo Credit: Heather Lowe Photography
 Vocalist Josh started off in the best way he could “We’re Less Than Jake, thanks for coming” the laughter went from the front of the crowd right to the very back. Within a few seconds the drums started, bass following and this incredible punk style came out of the speakers. It was something else. The energy they performed with was absolutely incredible to witness. Josh went into the next track by going ‘It always feels weird being a band and saying another towns name’ all of a sudden on member of the crowd blurted out the name “SHAUN” I’d be lying to you if that still didn’t make me laugh a little bit even after the show. 

The kenneths were a band so full of energy which seemed to be a hardcore punk with a great mix of humour and it was certainly a perfect balance. Their set included some heavy guitar playing, and some of the more beautiful bass playing I’ve had the honour to visualise in a long time. The bass was perfectly entwined with the incredible drumming which made a great collaboration with the energy that Josh was providing us with. Each member played with such passion is was easy to see that this was something they were destined to be performing on stage. Their set list ranged from tracks such as ‘What happened to the radio’ and even ‘What happened to my sex’ but the further into the set they got the more punk it felt. Josh then decided to jump over the barrier and run into the crowd encouraging fans to hold the microphone and let him sing his heart out. All in all this is a band destined for great things and certainly a band to watch out for in the future. (8/10)
Next to grace the stage were uk based Pop Punk band Trash Boat, and with only recently releasing a track with Dan ‘Soupy’ Campbell, but with only having signed to Hopeless Records last year  had a vague idea of what to expect from these guys, these exceptions were high and they exceeded every single one of them.
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Trash Boat – Photo Credit: Heather Lowe Photography
After the energy I had just seen the last band I had no idea what to expect from Trash Boat but it was safe to say that their set was filled with just as much energy. A few seconds into their set I could already see that these boys were ready to be bouncing around the stage. As soon as the first two tracks had finished a member of the crowd yelled out “Give me your shirt” only for vocalist Tobi, to respond with the following comment “How do you know I’ve not worn this shirt 4 days straight, and sweated into it every night on the stage” I guess this just sums up life on the road for any musician. 

Trash Boat certainly have some of the most dedicated fans, with roars of cheers and clapping in between songs and a nice mixture of laughter too. Their performance could not have been any more flawless if they tried, with each song fading perfectly into the next with a few quick comments in-between including ‘We’ve just announced a show in London on the 30th June and I expect to be seeing a few of you guys there” and I hope some of the crowd from this show do appear at that show as these boys had such a great set with a mix of hardcore and pop punk vocals, but it was something that gelled really well together.
Trash Boat put so much passion into their performance it was on another level of live shows, if this  tour was anything to go by their headliner in June is going to be a killer tour! They ended their set by thanking Less Than Jake for allowing them to be a part of this tour. (8.5/10)
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Less Than Jake – Photo Credit: Heather Lowe Photography
Lastly, we’re Ska-punk legends Less Than Jake who recently released their live album
Live From Astoria on the 29th April via Rude Records. Me, being me I had only ever heard a few of their tracks over the years.
The lights dimmed, and Less Than Jake came out one by one to the Universal movie theme tune (I think, I was in awe by this point) and the crowd roared with excitement, cheers from every angle of the room came flooding in to the front of the stage. The band performed a variety of tracks from Sugar In Your Gas Tank, to the well known ‘All My Best Friends Are Metalheads’ and even tracks as far back as ‘Johnny Quest Thinks We’re Sellouts’ 
This band involved brass instruments and collaborated them into their Ska-Punk set and it worked better than I could have ever anticipated. If anything it made their set way more unique. They had fans at the barrier wearing moustaches to the extent the Buddy decided it was a great fashion accessory and pouted around the stage with it, the laughter it caused in the room was beautiful.
Less Than Jake had so many highlights during their set it was hard to pinpoint one that stood out, but after searching through images from the night I found one in particular and that was the one of Chris deciding to eat a banana on stage, but rather than finishing it, he decided to throw it into the crowd. The band we’re constantly cracking jokes to the extent I think I lost count of how many times I almost cried with laughter. However the set came to a close with ‘Plastic Cup Politics’ and vocalist chris mentioned how they were in talks of an upcoming UK tour by the end of the year, but the next thing you knew the band were walking off stage, but that wasn’t anything they wanted.
As the lights dimmed, one by one the crowd chanted “LESS THAN JAKE” and “Encore” after a few minutes of chanting the lights came back up, the band reentered the stage and the crowd roared, and clapped with such enthusiasm as they knew the band weren’t finished yet and neither were their fans. After a final three tracks Less Than Jake ended their set on ‘Gainesville Rock City’ (10/10) 
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