On Monday, February 15, Al and I went to the O2 Academy in Bristol to watch the awesome Bowling For Soup.
I bought the tickets for Al as a Christmas present along with their new(est) CD, and I couldn’t wait to give them to him. I chose to go to Bristol, even though Cardiff was the closest, because I just love the O2 Academy!
I first saw Bowling For Soup at the Download Festival in Donington in 2014 – just two days after we found out we were expecting a little one.
On the stage with them, they had an inflatable sheep, and half way through their performance a man in a knight costume beat it to death with his sword.
As the sheep began to deflate, Al thought he’d show off the Welshman in him, and shouted at the top of his voice: “F*** it while it’s still warm.”
In return, Al received hugs and hi fives from people who enjoyed his comical genius.
I’d never really listened to Bowling For Soup before, but I recognised some of their songs. I felt sad that I had only just come across them at their final gig at Download, before they parted ways and enjoyed their retirement.
And, I was so pleased when I discovered their last round tour!
I knew I wanted to buy Al tickets for something, but I didn’t know what. I was looking at Slipknot, but they were a little out of my price range, and I’m not that into them anyway.
I ended up looking at the O2 Academy website, and found the tickets on there. I was so pleased that I found them!
A few days before we were heading off to Bristol, I booked myself a trim. My hair was getting a bit long (don’t laugh) and I was finding it hard to style. Plus, because I cut it myself, it was probably a bit uneven. I saw that an old friend of mine, James Marjoram, was looking for people to work with in order to get a portfolio of his work.
I contacted him straight away, and met up with him to have a trim! It was great to see James – we go back a long way and I hadn’t seen him since I left school.
It was quite strange having a school friend cut my hair. However, my usual hairdresser, Roxanne, is the mother of another one of my school friends.
I live in a small town.
I wasn’t sure about the colour, and thought maybe I’d go brown for the gig. I bought a brown dye, and bleached the black out of my hair. I was really impressed with the way it turned out, and instead put a blonde dye on and left it at that!
So the day came to go off on our adventure. We packed our bags, dropped Esme of at Nanny Jill’s and took to the road.
I was really pleased with myself for driving all the way there – I normally stress quite a lot, but I didn’t this time!
As soon as we got to the hotel we started drinking, and opened a couple bottles of Desperados.
After a couple of these, we returned to The Hatchet Inn, a Tudor style pub built in 1606 directly opposite the O2. The last time we came here was before going inside to see The Wildhearts in September, where we spotted Chris Catalyst, Ritch Battersby and Jon Poole.
I was hoping to see one of the boys from Bowling For Soup, but we weren’t that lucky.
Instead, Al and I had a couple of pints in there, whilst looking at the queue of people waiting to get into the venue.
The gig was sold out, so if you wanted to be at the front then you’d have to get in quick. However, Al and I took our time, and once we got inside, he bought me an awesome ‘1985’ t-shirt, and a few more pints.
We went to the bar near the stage, and realised that we wouldn’t be able to see the band. We travelled upstairs instead, to see if we could get a better view.
We didn’t have much luck, but thought we’d get a drink at the bar while we were there.
We went to the bar and we were the next people to be served. However, a pretty lady was buying a round of drinks she couldn’t afford, and was causing a few complications regarding payment.
After at least ten minutes of asking to pay partly in cash and partly by card, she trotted off to get more money, and we never saw her again.
Al and I got our drinks and decided to wander back downstairs again.
Bowling For Soup hadn’t come on yet, but the Dollyrots were playing, and it would have been nice to see their faces! We spent the majority of the gig peeping through gaps to get a glimpse of the boys, but we didn’t get much luck.
But, they sounded amazing and we still had an awesome time! All the way through the gig, I was waiting for them to play ‘Girl All The Bad Guys Want’ and they played it last! It didn’t bother me, but I was just waiting for it for so long!
They also played classics such as Emily (I think they opened with this one), Punk Rock 101 and 1985.
It’s a shame they’re retiring, but when do you stop and call it a day?
We finished off the night by grabbing two ham and pineapple pizzas, garlic bread and a load of chips, which we demolished back at our favourite hotel, situated just a few minutes away from the venue (it’s only a Travelodge, but it’s just what we need).
I don’t know whether it’s because I was drunk or because it was cooked to perfection, but the pizza tasted amazing! I totally demolished it, and went straight to sleep afterwards. I probably had one too many drinks, as I was finding it pretty difficult to walk in a straight line. I was quite surprised with myself at how much I managed to hold down, too. I’m sure my alcohol tolerance has improved since becoming a mum. Strange.
I had an amazing night, and I hope Al did too. If Bowling For Soup are coming to a venue near you this year, I’d definitely buy a ticket if I were you, and I’d advise you to get in there quick to get the best view!
They were totally wicked, and it was great to be able to see them again one more time.