Like some kind of punk freight train that started moving back in ’87, The Bouncing Souls have now picked up enough dedicated fans that they can pretty much keep moving on momentum alone.

When the band appeared at Rock City Basement the energy levels of lead singer Greg Attonito seemed disproportionate to the enthusiasm of the crowd. Due to the audience’s diversity, this enthusiasm was expressed in a range of ways: beer-bellied guys in their 30’s smugly shouting references to tours in the 90’s, the odd hardcore kid kicking his heels, and then of course, the backbone of any enthusiastic audience- confused drunk people who just knew, right now, they were happy.

But then the laws of physics kicked in. The energy of the audience naturally travelled onto Greg and he happily embraced it (to be honest he just looked like he was suffering from tour flu in the first place). The Bouncing Souls seemed to take the philosophy of the more you’re up for it, the more we are.

The band were driven by the fans; halfway through they just started taking any requests from the audience of songs to play, something which is sadly seen less and less from artists nowadays. When trying to tell the anecdote behind their song ‘Here We Go’, based on the British football chant, the band eventually couldn’t carry on talking as the chanting of ‘Here we go, here we go, here we go’ got so loud. So they just went into playing the song, the chanting changed into singing, the crowd went nuts and it worked great. The band were effectively having to surf a sea of enthusiasm, making the most of the crowd without falling into uncontrollable chaos.

The encore finished on ‘True Believers’, one of those cheesy fan anthems which is always pretty fun at gigs. Despite looking pretty tired and ill, Greg was happy to do a stage dive and get swamped by fans. As corny as it may sound, the fan-band relationship is the basis of The Bouncing Souls. No question mark.

Ian Fillingham

Ian has been listening to Wavves – ‘Gimme A Knife’ 

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