Venue: Leeds O2 Academy
Review by: Mikey Baird
WHEN you see touts outside a venue asking for and not selling tickets you know something special is afoot.
The Leeds 02 is a legitimate sell out tonight for the 20th anniversary of Californian punk rock legends RANCID.
The band explode on stage like a band 20 years younger – never mind one in their 20th year on the road – and for the next hour and a bit the group are relentless.
Frontman Tim Armstrong looks totally unhinged with a newly grown wild beard, switching from playing with the crowd to a manic stare worthy of Charles Manson, he splits vocal duties with another living legend Lars Frederiksen, the lynchpin of the band.
As this is an anniversary the band play tracks from their full back catalogue, the main clutch of songs coming from their breakthrough ‘And Out Come The Wolves’ album.
Mixing ska, punk, rock and more, there is a definite tip of the hat to the UK punk and ska bands that came before.
This is why the East-Bay band have chosen to have a classic UK punk band support on each night of the tour.
Tonight we had Birmingham’s GBH and there is definitely a Joe Strummer vibe and an English twang in Armstrong’s vocal delivery.
The crowd sing loud and proud to every song unleashed and when the band close the evening with ‘Time Bomb’ there isn’t a body in the Academy that’s not bouncing.
Here’s to another 20 years.