Jaret Reddick – Manchester, Gorilla Bar – 20 September 2017 Print E-mail
Written by Linzi A   
Wednesday, 27 September 2017 04:40

Well, it should come as no surprise that I headed out down to Manchester to go and meet the very lovely Jaret Reddick known as frontman for Bowling For Soup, here on his solo ‘Heartache & Hilarity’ tour. Jaret takes me back to my high school days where music got me through the stress of exams/bullying and various stages of teenage life – boys/drinking etc. Like most young teens music got me through some of the rough stages of life growing up and some of the fun times too.


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Bowling for Soup were formed in Wichita Falls, Texas, in 1994 and are known for some of their world famous tracks 'Girl All The Bad Guys Want', 'High School Never Ends', 'Emily', and many many more. They were Grammy nominated in 2003, in the 'Best Pop Performance by Duo or Group with Vocal' category for the pop punk ditty 'Girl All The Bad Guys Want', up against the likes of Bon Jovi, Dave Matthews, No Doubt and NSYNC. No Doubt won the award, but Bowling for Soup didn't leave empty handed, as Joan Rivers gave her award for worst dressed to the band who at the time were sporting matching baby blue suits.


After the band’s previous album, 'Lunch,Drunk,Love', which Jaret claims is his 'Divorce album' at the time, we saw an uplifted change with their latest release, 'Drunk Dynasty', which packs a punch and is full of hearty uplifting songs. So, tonight it was obvious that we could expect a range of emotions through both the songs and the stories, as Jaret walks us through various stages of his life.


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The Lounge Kittens are the support group and kick off the night. What can I say about these crazy ladies - other than apart from the utter madness they bring to the stage, their act is absolutely fabulous. Never have I seen an act in front of a rock crowd perform medleys of ‘80s TV programme theme tunes - including ‘Thundercats’, ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ and ‘Denvor The Last Dinosaur…. As well as this, they perform medleys from pop punk to bands that played Download this year including Aerosmith’s 'Love In An Elevator', Slipknot's 'Duality' ,Rob Zombie’s 'Dragula', Alestorms'Keelhauled' and many more.


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Sporting fabulous silver matching outfits this Southampton-based trio bring delectable harmonies, packed with humour and sarcasm and a lot of banter on stage, listening to them they are very tongue in cheek especially when it comes to songs like Steel Panther’s 'Glory Hole' – need I say more? Their tone is very ‘50s lounge music, vocally they are pitch perfect, and you can’t help but smile and get in the mood for some toe tapping fun as soon as they hit that stage. And then there’s the T-rexican Wave – unless you have been to a Lounge Kitten gig, you won’t know what I’m talking about… I won’t spoil it for you here: you will have to get yourselves down to one of their events to experience it for yourself!




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Jaret steps out onto the stage and his first words of the night are “Well, ladies and gentlemen, it’s nice to be home”: of course, the crowd roars into applause and whistles, before he starts the night with 'If You Come Back To Me'.


Watching as he plays this acoustically is just stunning: you can see the emotion as he plays, as he pours all his feelings into his songs. Jaret takes us through some of his most emotional times of life in between songs talking where he jokes about his weight saying “I know I have gained a little weight - I ate the band”, talks to us about divorce and life and how he's at a place now where life has moved forward and he has married his best friend. He also tells us: “Life goes full circle sometimes, and sometimes it just takes a little admittance to realise when you need help you need to speak out and reach out to people and get the help you need, especially when you hit rock bottom and you find yourself in that dark place.”


After Jaret performs 'The Bitch' song, he tells us that the song isn’t about just one person in particular but two - so that’ if either of them should ask if the song’s about them’ then he can deny everything’ should that conversation arise. After the 'Star Song', he talks us through meeting with Val Kilmer on the Tonight Show: the actor had no clue that Bowling For Soup had done a song about him. Jaret jokes ”at the time of writing the song. I hadn't actually watched the Batman movie where Val Kilmer starred in it, I just took everyone else's word for it and gave it a miss”; of course, after this he plays us 'Val Kilmer', and the crowd all sing along in unison… the night’s beginning to feel really deep.


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The stories continue, Jaret tells us about an old flame who was highly religious and wanted him to find religion too, and by doing so she wanted him to ditch all his friends; he tells us this was his first taste of heartache as he had to let her go and explains this is where the song 'A Friendly Goodbye' came from. Later on, he tells us about his best friend, who was also his manager, that he had to fire due to the demons of drug usage - his friend later on dying of an overdose - and how this was a huge part of his life as he and his friend lost contact over the firing… then, out of the blue, his friend calls him and tells him it’s all cool and that there are no grudges held, only for weeks later another call from another friend to say his best friend had passed, and that he was very grateful in knowing his friend hadn't held a grudge before he passed and the fact his friend called him and he was able to speak to him shows that “you need to keep in contact with your friends and family [because] you never know what is around the corner”.


Next up is one of Bowling for Soup’s most famous songs, ‘1985’: suffice to say the crowd were bouncing along to this one!


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He then tells us of his time at Nickelodeon Studios and falling asleep while watching a movie he should have been giving a review on; after this the band were fighting it out to be the band chosen to do the Shrek soundtrack - losing out to another artist, but landing on his feet with the likes of 'Phineas and Ferb', which is the next song he performs on stage for us here.


As the night is drawing to a close, he rewards the crowds chanting “Jaret, Jaret” for an encore, stepping back out onto the stage for an old classic, 'Belgium'.


Tonight has been pretty special - a first for me doing an intimate acoustic gig where the artist tells you about the stories behind Bowling For Soup, his early songwriting triumphs, TV shows, movies, and much, much more.


A great performance by The Lounge Kittens and by Jaret Reddick… a highly enjoyable night!




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