Wednesday 20th June 2012 – Less Than Jake at The Old Fire Station, Bournemouth

This is a gig I probably shouldn’t have gone to. Ten years on, with everything we’ve learnt in this pandemic era, there’s no way I would have.

I was unwell. Classic common cold in Summertime. If you’re reading this and thinking “yeah, I felt like shit after that show actually!” I apologise for my irresponsible behaviour. I won’t have been the first (of course) and won’t be the last (unfortunately) to make this error of judgement but I had my reasons.

At the time of writing, I’ve seen Less Than Jake have each of the six total times they’ve played in Bournemouth. Back in 2012 they’d only played here once before and that was six years earlier in 2006. Despite having clocked up eighteen shows prior to this point I wasn’t going to give up the opportunity of seeing them again on home turf.

I stood on my own on the edge of one of the seated areas overlooking the crowd and stage (my God, the layout of this venue is awkward), using the railing to keep myself stood upright, despite the overwhelming urge to curl up in a ball and admit defeat. It was bastard hot once LTJ’s headline set got going and my temperature was likely already sky high. As grim as it sounds and I’m not proud of it, I think I may sweat it all out during this show because I didn’t feel too bad by the end of the night, or perhaps that was just the sheer relief that I’d made it through.

Comically, this was the only time I’ve even seen Less Than Jake play two encores. Just when I thought the set was over, frontman and serial joker, Chris Demakes came out with a broom and started sweeping the stage. “It’s over..” I said to my friends, probably with a ounce of wishful thinking. “There’s no way they’d play a second encore” I claimed. My friends didn’t agree. They were right and a few minutes later the band were back on stage.

Did I imagine all this in my feverish state? Was the second encore and Chris’ persistent brushing just a nightmarish dream I had? Well, the setlist confirms it. Twenty four songs! Granted a few were less than a minute long covers from their 2010 TV EP. Thanks guys, that was serious value for money, only on the worst possible occasion for me.

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