LIVE: The Interrupters / The Bar Stool Preachers @ The Dome, London

By Louis Kerry

Playing arenas every night is the dream for many bands. It’s one not many get to accomplish but for Californian four-piece The Interrupters, they have got to live out their dream. Having supported Green Day every night on their huge European tour, they’ve played their take on ska punk to thousands of unassuming people who are unlikely to have heard of them before. But rather than finish the tour there, they end it on their own terms, in a small, sweaty and sold out headline show in London in-front of their own fans, showing off everything they’ve learned from their recent arena trek.

Supported by The Bar Stool Preachers who have been working hard to step up a gear in the punk rock scene, they do their best to allure the crowd with their collection of light, folk-tinged punk rock. Whilst Tom Mcfall is possibly the least intimidating vocalist in the punk scene, their tracks about love, politics and touring life manage to entertain the majority of the audience beyond anyone’s expectations. Although with just a passable singer, an acoustic guitar that barely gets used and dated sounding songs, they still have further to go if they want to grow in any bigger in the scene.

Even without a brass instrument in-sight, as soon as The Interrupters come onstage and launch into opener ‘A Friend Like Me’, the room full of punks, skins and metalheads become friends themselves, as everyone gets straight into skanking along to the band’s collection of anthems. Made up of three brothers and vocalist Aimee Interrupter, it almost feels like a family homecoming.

As it’s being streamed live on YouTube, the whole world can also be taken back by how passionate both the fans and the band are about making the most of their Saturday night and getting rowdy to every song on the setlist. From Operation Ivy covers to ridiculous guitar solos to endless crowd participation antics, The Interrupters clearly know how to have a party.

Aimee Interrupter doesn’t stop bouncing from to side to side of the stage. Full of charm and charisma, she sounds like Brody Dalle but has the same chilled out vibe that No Doubt era Gwen Stefani once had. She isn’t a soprano vocally but her nostalgically gruff and no glamour style fits the band’s gritty aesthetic perfectly.

It’s easy to compare the band to their buddies and label mates in Rancid all day long (and that’s no bad thing) but The Interrupters go a step further to sound more accessible and welcoming live without negotiating on sheer fist-pounding aggression. Songs from their new album Say It Out Loud like ‘She Got Arrested’ and ‘Babylon’ are made for tiny punk shows like this. Yet these huge singalongs can easily translate to much bigger settings.

Ska punk has been on the decline for far too long. The only thing that has been seemingly holding it together is the same old faces performing anniversary and full album shows. So, despite The Interrupters not exactly reinventing the wheel, it’s very refreshing to see a new, exciting and young band take the drivers seat of the scene and push it into sixth gear with a passion to perform and a live show that even the biggest bands would struggle to top.

Their genetic chemistry, showmanship and sheer instinct on how to get an audience moving  and singing makes it clear that there’s no doubt that supporting Green Day won’t be the last time we see The Interrupters in arenas.

Louis Kerry