The Mighty Mighty Bosstones blow the lid off O2 Academy Bristol

PUBLISHED: 16:41 01 July 2019 | UPDATED: 11:09 02 July 2019

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Picture: Sarah Smith

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Picture: Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones have been on my bands I want to see list since I first started making them up almost 20 years ago.

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Picture: Sarah SmithThe Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Picture: Sarah Smith

After their performance in Bristol last night, I have to say they were worth the wait.

Their first gig in the city for eight years, and the last date on a brief four-date run through the UK, the ska-punk pioneers blew the roof off the O2 Academy during a performance that insured no one left without a smile on their face.

The Bar Stool Preachers.  Picture: Sarah SmithThe Bar Stool Preachers. Picture: Sarah Smith

The night opened with Brighton-based band The Bar Stool Preachers, getting the crowd moving with tracks from their sophomore album Grazie Governo.

Next up, Manchester-basedband Sonic Boom Six whipped the crowd into a frenzy with their fast-paced MC-driven politically charged ska-punk.

Sonic Boom Six Frontman Laila Khan.    Picture: Sarah SmithSonic Boom Six Frontman Laila Khan. Picture: Sarah Smith

The first time I saw them was back in the 00's, and I have to say they have only got better with age, and frontman Laila Khan had the crowd eating out the palm of her hand from start to explosive finish.

Finally, it was time for The Bosstones, dressed in matching pin-stripe suits, replete with medals.

Bosstones' frontman Dicky Barrett.  Picture: Sarah SmithBosstones' frontman Dicky Barrett. Picture: Sarah Smith

The nine-piece from Boston, Massachusetts bounded onto the stage and got right into it with A Reason To Toast.

Frontman Dicky Barrett was on perfect form, bantering with the crowd and borrowing people's hats, while Ben Carr kept everyone dancing, and the rest of the band belted out hit after hit, with a staggering level of musicality.

Mighty Mighty Bosstones guitarist Lawrence Katz.  Picture: Sarah SmithMighty Mighty Bosstones guitarist Lawrence Katz. Picture: Sarah Smith

Highlights included fan favourite The Rascal King, The Constant, and Wonderful Day For The Race.

The band also made one young fan's night by bringing them on stage to dance their way through Mr Moran before posing for an 'Instagramable photo' taken by their dad.

Mighty Mighty Bosstones Saxaphone player Leon Silza. Picture: Sarah SmithMighty Mighty Bosstones Saxaphone player Leon Silza. Picture: Sarah Smith

Barrett took time out to thank his band mates and called for the crowd to 'Do the whole world a favour and love one another' before the band launched into an incredible medley which started with Don't Worry Desmond Dekker and finished with the band's iconic hit The Impression That I Get, which saw the stage packed as members of Sonic Boom Six and The Bar Stool Preachers return to belt out the track, in one humongous sing-a-long.

The Bosstones returned for a brief encore and finished a phenomenal performance with the self-reflective, but hopeful, A Pretty Sad Excuse.

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Picture: Sarah SmithThe Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Picture: Sarah Smith

Bowing out, the band promised to return - here's hoping we won't all be wondering Where Did You Go for another eight years.

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