My memories of this gig are as much about the day as the show itself. Ed and I had long lost touch with our friend from school Darren, known to most as Smiler. We’d seen him a year earlier when we played with Canada Water in Cardiff, where Darren was at University and I guess that was the beginning of us becoming back in contact with him.
Darren’s degree was in Sound Production, as such he had a lot of the gear. We asked him if he would record Ed and I doing a tongue in cheek audio commentary for our Trigger Happy and Jackass lite home videos from back in 2003 (many of which Darren actually filmed).
Before Darren arrived, we took a trip into Poole to have a root through the second hand stock at Red Records, just as we used to years earlier. Someone had just dropped off a collection of 7” singles that spanned the past decade and we fought, not as aggressively as we might have done when we were younger, for the ones we wanted.
The whole day felt like a page out of our childhood, making Reel Big Fish the perfect band for the three of us to go and see in the evening. It was actually Darren who introduced us to the band, he had a copy of Cheer Up!, which he allowed us to both make a CD-R copy of. Ed got very good back in those days at recreating the band logos and artwork using the pens that would work on the top side of the disc.
As much as you might try to perfectly recreate a point in time, it’s unlikely all the pieces will ever be exact. This was the first time seeing Reel Big Fish following the departure of Scott Klopfenstein. I’ve never quite gotten over this. Whenever I listen to RBF I always (attempt) to sing Scott’s harmonies and despite Matt Appleton doing the best possible job anyone could to fill those shoes, it was a bit jarring to see the band without Scott.
The support was a band who’ve had a great decade or so since, The Skints. I’d heard of them at this point, but not actually heard them, so this was my first introduction. Darren was already a fan and I trusted his judgement. I enjoyed their set and ended up buying a 7” vinyl from the merch table.