Jaret Reddick will be instantly familiar to most as the frontman of pop-rock/punkers, Bowling For Soup. Alongside the rest of band he has carved out a respectable career over the last 20+ years. He’s engaging and entertaining to watch with a wealth of history and stories to tell. It’s the latter that he has chosen to share with the audience in the Camden Dingwalls tonight.
Heartache and Hilarity Too is Jaret Reddick’s solo acoustic tour. The second time he has taken this show on the road, the first coming to the UK last year.
A mix of seating and standing, those lucky enough to have grabbed a seat have the best view of the night of course. For those standing at the back? Well, sound is an issue but mainly when it comes to the talking on stage.
Up first through is the pop punk band, The Dollyrots. The two-piece regale the crowd with short stories behind their inspirations but from the constant chatter near the back of the venue, they struggle to engage fully with people. Not completely their fault, mind you as later would prove.
You’d presume that everyone is here for Jaret. What with it costing an eye-watering £28 on the door for a ticket. His set is made up of acoustic songs from the huge Bowling for Soup catalogue and fun, sometimes emotional stories and anecdotes. Jaret is fantastic at getting everyone’s attention and keeping them invested and the roar of approval that greets his arrival on stage tells you all you need to know about his popularity.
He shares lengthy stories about the time Kerrang put them in the top 10 dumbest bands after years of support. He gives candid insight into his personal life as he talks about co-parenting and his battles with depression.
Each tale is followed by a great acoustic rendition of Bowling for Soup songs with an exceedingly good, Turbulence standing out. Seriously, I was humming this the day after.
It’s engaging, interesting and fun. Except for one thing. Now this complaint is in no way Jaret’s fault, no, it relates to the the venue and a selection of people who had no interest in being there. If you weren’t able to get a seat you were basically stuck standing at the back. No big deal as the view was fine and the sound was solid except for the shockingly rude people who would not stop talking all the way throughout.
The moment a song would end these people would continue loudly having full-on conversations without a care for what was coming from the stage. It was incredibly distracting and very annoying.
I don’t get it. £28 to talk all the way through an acoustic show that is advertised as a night of story-telling and sharing? Why not just go to one of the many pubs around Camden instead?!
Anyway, as I said it is no reflection on Jaret as he was exceptional tonight. His voice is captivating no matter if he’s singing, telling a story or making jokes. That a non-fan can come away feeling so happy and good is testament to his ability to put on a great show.
Heartache and Hilarity Too - Bowling For Soup's Jaret Reddick at The Dingwalls, Camden, London (19/09/18)
Jaret Reddick - 9/10
The Dollyrots - 7/10