It happened in Fullerton. Last night the legendary kings of junk rock, Sloppy Seconds, concluded their long overdue tour of the West Coast at The Slidebar Rock N Roll Kitchen. The tour consisted of eight shows, and, as observed by vocalist / lyricist B.A., this was the smallest venue of them all; however, as the singer also observed, he was happy to play for the folks who showed. Thus, the band played a killer show for the rabid fans who packed the joint.
The triple biller started at around 8:45 pm with Mr. Firley. The five-piece outfit, which hails from Santa Ana, played a lively and entertaining 45-minute set, which concluded with a song the band revealed was about lighting farts on fire. Next up was SideKicK, the nearly 20-year-old, LA-based punk band, whose guitarist/vocalist Landon Gale-George runs the booking agency Covert Booking, which was responsible for getting Sloppy Seconds out West. Gale-George’s band opened for Sloppy Seconds for six of the shows on their tour, and for their final number, a cover of The Ramones’ “Blitzkreig Bop,” they invited B.A. to join them onstage.
At about 10:45 p.m., Sloppy Seconds fired up their set with “You’ve Got a Great Body, But Your Record Collection Sucks” from their 1998 album More Trouble Than They’re Worth. For the following hour and fifteen minutes, they played an immensely satisfying show, peppered with songs from throughout their 30 year recording career. Given the range of audience members, it was clear that their appearance had summoned both aging punkers, who knew of the band’s greatness “back in the day,” as well as little ‘uns, who were evidently well-schooled — as evidenced by their knowledge of the lyrics of older songs, like: “Blackmail,” “Runnin’ from the C.I.A.,” and “Ice Cream Man.”
Concerning the younger audience members, it was ironic yet encouraging that they were so well-versed in the material. As songs such as “Come Back Traci” and, in particular, “The Mighty Heroes” tell of film icons that carry much greater gravitas than most any of modern films, yet they were popular long before the newbies were born. Near the end of the show, further testament to the depth of Sloppy Seconds’s influence on these kids could be observed by the viciousness with which they scrambled on-stage and fought for the setlists — it was like watching single women fight for the bride’s bouquet. Totally merciless.
Additional highlights of the show included performances of “Human Waste,” “The Horror of Party Beach,” “You Can’t Kill Joey Ramone,” and, of course, the cheeky “I Don’t Wanna Be a Homosexual.” Throughout the performances, guitarist Ace Hardwhere jumped, danced, and spun his guitar in the small space of the stage, while B.A. and the awesome Bo’Ba Jam (bass) essentially held their ground. Behind the drums, Steve Sloppy maintained the rhythm and furious pace of the show with nary a pause between numbers. As the show neared its end, and the band tore into “I’m So Fucked Up,” B.A. dared to wander into the crowd, where a whirling mosh pit had been going for most of the show. Alas, as soon as the singer graced their presence, they embraced him, peaceably.
After the show was over, Gale-George commented on the furious pace of the tour’s end. The final four shows had taken place on consecutive days, and ranged from San Diego’s Soda Bar to West Hollywood’s Viper Room; Gale-George’s band had opened on each of the dates, which he said was a record for his band in terms of consecutive engagements. Sloppy Seconds, however, had survived the entire tour, which ranged from Tempe, AZ to Santa Cruz. All of their engagements were played on consecutive evenings. At the end of the tour, B.A.’s voice still sounded great all the way through their final encore, “Janie Is a Nazi” (for which members of SideKicK and others joined them onstage). Hopefully, this tour is not an anomaly, as there is clearly a lot of love for this band out West, and though they frequently play down South, in the East, and in the Midwest, the fans out here will surely be wanting another Sloppy Seconds fix before long.