Story: Roland Stanbridge-Miles
WALKING down the long queue lining the side of The Astoria,
Adam's a bit concerned.
"Are you sure this is the right night?
This looks like an under-16s gig," he said. And there's no
Yet a quick check of the tickets reveals no information about
any age restrictions. So the Grandads (25 and 24 respectively)
Less Than Jake have been around since 1992, so you'd expect them
to have some die-hard long-term fans who are at least in their
If they're here tonight, they're doing a good job of not being
For if anyone among tonight's crowd had been into them from the
start, they would have had to have started liking them from the
age of six!
Anyway, it doesn't bother me. In fact, it makes it easier than
normal to get to the bar, with only a few kids buying lemonade
and coke to contend with. I buy beer, because I can.
Before tonight, I knew very little about Less Than Jake.
Basically, I'm aware they're an American ska-punk band - one
of those bands I probably know a few songs by, without realising
After tonight, however, I know little more, but am not interested
in expanding my knowledge.
I recognise one and a half songs, but the rest all sound the
The singer's whining American vocals grate, and a bit more ska
and a bit less rawk would be a vast improvement.
However, I'm aware that I'm clearly in a minority. The kids love
it - from our excellent viewing position on
the balcony (it's a bit cooler there), we can see a packed dancefloor
jumping about enthusiastically to the repetitive sounds like a
sea of sweaty adolescents (which is what they are).
I'd go as far as to say that this is the most enthusiastic crowd
ever seen in the Astoria, but I reckon that's due to their youth,
rather than the quality of the band.
Nevertheless, it's highly entertaining watching the countles
crowdsurfers making their precarious way to the foot of the stage
to be caught by the overworked bouncers, who should surely be
demanding a higher rate of pay for tonight - although that would
probably be turned down on the grounds that the bodies they are
catching weigh less than normal!
I missed all but the last half of the last song of the support
act, and probably misheard their name as well (The Chinos?) but
judging (rather unfairly) by that, it's a relief.
A bit like Less Than Jake, but without the ska influence.
It's a very early finish - 9.45pm - due to it being GAY night
afterwards (or maybe due to early bedtimes), featuring a performance
I'd much rather have seen them than these boring Yanks.