Formed in 1991, from the ashes of ska punks Operation Ivy, the quartet from Oakland, California were one of the most important punk bands of the 90s revival. But unlike Green Day, The Offspring and Bad Religion, Rancid remained underground and independent from major labels, something which has seen them retain their energetic and loyal fan base throughout their career, but not the same wider attention as those bands.
Opener “Radio” was a rapid introduction into what carnage was expected, whilst “Roots Radicals” gave Lars Fredericksen the first fist pumping sing-along of the night. Tim Armstrong’s new Charles Manson-style beard seemed to be the talking point of the tour, but their rapid stroll through their impressive back catalogue provided the main attraction on stage.
“Journey to the End of East Bay” and “Maxwell Murder”s groovy bass lines, showed why Matt Freeman is one of the greatest punk bassists around, whilst “Olympia WA”, “Fall Back Down” and “The 11th Hour” were the comradeship that are synonymous with punk shows.
The band also previewed a new look into their next studio album, due next year, with “Fuck You”, which already looks to be a crowd favourite. Rancid returned to a rapturous welcome for the encore, with ska-influenced “Time Bomb” and “Ruby Soho” providing a chilled finish, compared to the frenetic start.
With Rancid on top form, it would be hard for even the legendary Cocksparrer to follow.