Reel 'em in
Clashing with Muse on the main stage didn't bode well for Reel Big Fish but they needn't have worried as the Lock Up tent is packed out for their headlining slot. Of course the torrential rain outside may have had a hand in that but that's probably doing the band a disservice.
They get a massive reaction as they come on and go into an 'Ole' chant by way of introduction. It's not long before people are dancing both inside and outside the tent to their light-hearted, good time ska punk. An early highlight comes in the form of 'I Want Your Girlfriend to be My Girlfriend' from their debut album, which shows just what a good band they are. The brass section is great and they are very entertaining to watch. Vocalist and guitarist Aaron Barrett today does his best to look exactly like Joe Strummer, whilst one of the trumpet players bears an uncanny resemblance to Louis Theroux!
There are plenty of amusing moments such as when they introduce 'The Tuning Song', which lasts for all of ten seconds and consists of the drummer providing a beat to the guitar being tuned. Then there's the part where they all get to do a little solo and trombone player Dan Regan opts to do a face solo! I guess you had to be there to appreciate that one. They are a bit too lightweight for my taste but there's no denying that they are an excellent band that put in a polished performance whilst managing to have plenty of fun at the same time. I confess I snuck off to watch a bit of Muse towards the end but not before they got everyone smiling with their excellent cover of A-Ha's 'Take On Me'.
Reel Big Fish were an inspired choice to headline the last night on The Lock Up stage; their up beat tunes and attitude meant everyone left smiling and on a high. There aren't too many bands that could have pulled that off when most of the crowd were soaking wet and not needing any excuse to feel miserable.