Review by Jo Lloyd and photos by Mark Lloyd
It’s been 15 years since the release of Lit’s first album A Place In The Sun became many peoples summer soundtrack. Following on from the success of the first round of tour dates earlier in the year, popular demand has thankfully brought them back for round two.
I’m led to believe that the whirlwind on stage were Californians Army of Freshmen. Very much a pop punk outfit with obvious comparisons to Less than Jake and Zebrahead, I can safely say that they are quite frankly one of the happiest bands I’ve ever seen. Even the small stage didn’t deter singer Chris Jay from bouncing around with his brilliantly expressive actions. They were clearly having a ball on stage which was reciprocated by the grinning crowd following every request to participate eagerly. With this being their tenth visit to the UK, they’re getting on a bit, but you can almost forgive their juvenile lyrics with the show they put on. Closing with the catchy ‘Juliet’ and ‘Body Parts’ had the crowd thoroughly warmed up for the main attraction.
It was always going to be a guaranteed nostalgia road trip and that’s just what everyone was here for. Even if you didn’t own a copy of A Place in the Sun (and why not?!) several singles off the album catapulted Lit into the mainstream limelight. It was wonderful revisiting my late teens and bouncing along as the guys plunged straight into opening track ‘Four’. The crowd went expectedly wild for second track, the anthemic ‘My Own Worst Enemy’ and considering these songs are fifteen years old, they certainly don’t feel it.
Obviously album play throughs are going to be predictable, especially when played from beginning to end, but this album is just so good live and the crowd are thoroughly enjoying belting out every word. The band has an incredible stage presence and frontman A. Jay Poppoff spends almost as much time on the barrier leaning into the front row as he does on stage encouraging everyone to join in and sing back to him. It’s difficult to detail the highlights from this gig as, for me, it’s nearly impossible to pick specifics as the whole show is full to the brim of forgotten gems.
Playing en epic six track encore of hits mostly from their 2001 smash Atomic there was no stopping the party. Finishing the evening with ‘Over My Head’ left the crowd sweaty, elated and reminded just how big a space A Place In The Sun will always have in their hearts!
A great band, a great show and a great album!