Review by Mark Mcgrogan
So three decades on Floridian Ska-Punks Less Than Jake return to Belfast to celebrate their 30 year anniversary at one of Belfast’s oldest / newest venues The Points, a bar that has been on the scene for years but with a recently renovated interior offering a new option for live bands in the city.
It’s a cool spot and what a way to break the seal with two quality bands. A packed out house shows the appreciation for Less Than Jake back in the city once again after their sold out show back in 2019.
These guys have a plethora or memorable hits that the fans will be dying to see live once again after a puke of a two year hiatus with the music scene decimated by Covid.
But up first we have MMATSU doing their thang, the gang have their own Ska-Punk-Rock vibe going on with Millie & co garnering attention up and down the UK.
They have been working hard for the last number of years honing their craft and building up a sizeable fan base and I can tell they have their own audience in the room tonight too. There’s a young fan base rammed against the barriers warbling along with every song they play which is great to see, carrying on the tradition and handing down the mantle to each generation.
A quick 30 minute set gets the crowd warmed up nicely and leaves them begging for more.
As 9pm arrives the lights drop and a roar goes out from the crowd LTJ are here, two horn players take the stage and right there and then I realise there’s fuck all room to manoeuvre in the pit and the chances of getting a trombone in the head is a serious threat!
As the music kicks in you can feel the energy in the room lift and the love for this band is palpable! If ever there was a good time band then this is it, the guys are chatting between songs between themselves and the audience and the Belfast crowd is responding with a level of love rarely seen. Maybe it’s the magic that the venue brings? A tighter more intimate show and you’re practically on top of the artists. Who doesn’t love a bit of post-Covid love in 2022!
The sound from the stage is orgasmic! The horns bellow out over the crowd fused with the distortion of the slamming guitars, wailing vocals are killer backline all make for one special occasion.
I grew up with LTJ in my periphery but I am so glad that I am experiencing them in the flesh tonight, the Belfast crowd is loving every second of their banging Belfast return, hands in the air, heads banging, people dancing and warbling along to the lyrics of every track I’ll say it again, there is a lot of love in the room tonight for LTJ.
I was speaking earlier today with the cool kids from Beaux Gris Gris & The Apocalypse about the importance and cathartic process of live music once again in our lives and that is all I can think about standing here at The Points in Belfast tonight, with a world tearing itself apart, war in europe, two years of political destruction of our lives through covid, the depressing bullshit being fed to us through our TV screens as the media feed on the negativity and depress the fuck out of us all trying to break our spirits, and as I stand here now with the sonic earworms of Less Than Jake washing over me that is all a million miles away.
So do yourself a favour, support your local artists, support your local venues, invest in live music and more importantly invest in yourself, your sanity and your self worth and get your ass out amongst your friends and share in this glorious experience once again, you’ll not regret it!
To Less Than Jake, thank you lads, it’s been too long, come back soon. To the promoters Shizznigh PR & Live Free Tour Booking, well played & thank you for a great nights craic!
I’ve been Mark, you’ve been wonderful, till next time.
Photography by MPM