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Winners Of Flogging Molly Support Slot Announced For London, Bristol And Bournemouth Dates Of Fireball’s Fuelling The Fire Tour

If only there were some sort of contest to find a red-hot, local support act… you could call it Fireball’s Hottest Band 2019 Competition and – wait a minute – there is exactly such an event.

In recent years, Fireball’s Fuelling The Fire Tour has cemented itself as a cinnamon-flavoured mainstay in the touring calendar. Previously the tour has boasted party-starting acts such as Less Than Jake, Reel Big Fish, Anti-Flag and more – and this December’s line-up is no less raucous as headliners Flogging Molly bring along The Bronx, Face To Face and Lost In Stereo for the 10 date, whisky-fuelled blowout. 

But who’s going to open these dates?’ we hear you ask. Good question. If only there were some sort of contest to find a red hot, local support act… you could call it Fireball’s Hottest Band 2019 Competition and – wait a minute – there is exactly such an event.

Glass of Fireball in hand, we headed down to the O2 Academy Islington to join the panel of expert judges and help find a local opening band for each of the three southern dates, Bournemouth, Bristol and London.

Fighting for the opening slot at the Bournemouth leg, accordion-wielding punks Sinful Maggie faced off against fellow Celtic-inspired punks Black Water County and wholesome rockers Death By Shotgun. Sinful Maggie came out swinging with a blazing set of Tim Armstrong-tinged punk rock, but alas it wasn’t to be. What Death By Shotgun lacked in Irish-shtick, them more than made up for in their ability to belt out hearty numbers in the vein of The Menzingers and Boston Manor. Ultimately though it was Black Water County who landed themselves a place on the stage with Flogging Molly in December. With help from a busload of Bournemouth lunatics wearing Folk Shit Up’ T‑shirts, the Emerald Isle-influenced six piece started the first moshpit of the evening and cemented themselves as the judges’ favourite for the south coast blowout.

Next up folk rockers Mick O’Toole (notably a five-piece band, not actually a man called Mick) went head-to-head with punk rockers The Run Up for a shot at that Bristol opening slot. Sadly, despite Mick O’Toole’s banjo player looking exactly like Star Wars’ Kylo Ren (may the folk be with you, sir), they couldn’t defeat the rebels in The Run Up, who’s huge tunes channelled the essence of The Wonder Years and Basement into a powerful and convincing performance. We’ll see you again in December over a shot of Fireball, chaps.

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WACO’s bassist takes a moment

Finally, it was time to duke it out for a chance to hit the stage at O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire at the London leg of the Fuelling The Fire Tour. Despite bringing men in beer bottle costumes who unleashed their inflatable balls all over O2 Academy Islington, pop-punkers The Famous Class couldn’t bounce their way to the sought-after slot. Charismatic rock’n’roll freaks WACO pulled off a wild-eyed performance that incorporated spoken word and some of the most outlandish use of a tambourine that the city has ever seen but sadly, despite bringing a mountain of killer riffs, it wasn’t their night. Instead The Lagan had the luck (and the sound) of the Irish as they scooped victory in a hale of tin whistles and violin – a fitting opener for Flogging Molly, to be sure. 

With that there was just enough time for blues rock face-melters Haggard Cat to put the whole night to bed with a few terrifyingly loud little numbers as the crowd slammed back a few celebratory and commiserative shots for tonight’s competitors. 

We can’t wait to see who’s opening the other seven dates on the tour, because if the standards anywhere near as high as the bands who competed at the O2 Academy Islington then we’re in for a treat. See you tonight at the Sheffield date of the competition for more mayhem, more judging and more Fireball. Burp.

Grab tickets for the upcoming Fireball’s Hottest Band 2019 Competition shows right here!

Posted on September 6th 2018, 10:51a.m.
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