Reel Big Fish
Cambridge Junction
9th February 09

I have always wanted to see Reel Big Fish live ever since I was a little ska punk kid so I jumped at the chance to see them in the intimate setting of the Cambridge Junction promoting their new album ‘Fame, Fortune and Fornication’ a collection of ska punk reworkings of classics including Poison’s ‘Talk Dirty To Me and Toots and the Maytals ‘Monkey Man.’

Very few bands can really combine humour and a great live show, its nearly always one or the other but RBF know how to tease and please an audience and its impossible to not get carried away in what they do, The full frontal attack of horns and harmonies embellish every melody to bursting point in each song and there’s an organic looseness to that suggests they are still having a lot of fun playing live.

Pic : Nicole Lucas

RBF can get away with having a number of covers in their set because they manage to make each song sound like they wrote it and these covers nestle against the band’s own standout tracks of perfectly written ska punk anthems like ‘Beer’ and ‘Sell Out’ Watching RBF play live I know now that I will never forget hearing RBF covering ‘Boss DJ’ by Sublime in their encore, I will never again hear that Sublime song without thinking of tonight because RBF are so damn good, Ska lost its mainstream popularity years ago and in a way so did RBF but this hasn’t changed what they are about at all and this is the beauty of it.
Ending their set on their infamous cover of ‘Take on me’ I got to thinking that it’d be a pretty safe bet to assume that most of the band’s teenage audience have never heard the original and probably think RBF wrote that song, it's certainly better than the original and is one of RBF’s most loved tracks.

Pic Rich E

And so I left the gig thinking about how amazing it is to see a band that inspired me as a kid still burning brightly and having lost none of their integrity as they continue to inspire the next generation with the songs that inspired us.

Matt Turner