Less Than Jake – London HMV Forum

By Tom Aylott

Skaaaaaa punk. Kinda dead, kinda not. The days of the wacky shorts being the answer to the self-obsessed silliness of mohawk so-cal punk are long gone, but it’s surviving much longer on life support than many would have you believe.

THE SKINTS [3/5] do a good job of showing why the UK ska scene never quite created the ‘big’ bands that it threatened – though miles and miles away from being terrible, it’s just hard to see the band covering more ground or doing anything truly groundbreaking, but they’re entertaining nonetheless.

Next up were ZEBRAHEAD [2.5/5], who might just be the band who has been main support on more tours than any on the planet ever. It might be because they should really have a much bigger arsenal of memorable songs by now, or it might be because the live show falls short of being anything but a bit laboured tonight, but there’s just not much to write home about.

Conversely, LESS THAN JAKE [4/5] are on top form. They were always the benchmark for success in the genre, and they show exactly why they carry respect where so many others are written off as goofy – though maybe the Animaniacs cover tonight amongst others on recent ‘TVEP’ tests that theory a little bit. Sure, it’s a nostalgia fest when you’re watching a band that dips so far back into the back catalogue, but who cares when Less Than Jake simply deliver live and leave it near impossible not to crack a smile throughout.

All the hits are present, and the between song entertainment is as good as ever. Less Than jake are becoming part of an exlusive club of third wave ska survivors, but they’ve certainly got the muscle and a new generation interested – so we’ll just have to wait and see.