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Live Review: Sonic Boom Six – Academy 3, Birmingham – 22/11/12

We catch up with the Manchester genre-terrorists in Birmingham, read the full review inside.

Band: Sonic Boom Six
Support: Mixtape Saints, Imperial Leisure
Venue: Academy 3, Birmingham
Date: 22/11/12

To say the streets of Birmingham are looking a little miserable this evening is something of an understatement, people dash around getting drenched from head to toe in the torrential downpour. At least those heading to the Academy can take some relief in knowing there’ll soon be in doors and can warm themselves up with some high energy UK punk courtesy of Sonic Boom Six.

However those who are in early may have to stand around dripping wet a little longer, local support Mixtape Saints are something of a far cry from what’s to follow. Being more introverted and down the somber end of the punk spectrum, the lads fail to garner much movement from the early birds. However it’s still early days for these lads and there’s clearly a passion here that could see them nestled quite nicely alongside the likes of Frank Turner or Make Do & Mend in the future. They may have to put in a few more hours at the punk rock office before they inspire the amount of passion those bands produce in their fans but they’re on the right path.

Following them Imperial Leisure take to the stage with every intention to change the static nature of the crowd. Ska punk may not be the coolest or most popular genre in today’s current musical climate however when you do what you do as good as IL, it proves you can do whatever you like as long as you do it well, and judging by the crowd’s reaction there’s plenty of people who will eat it up. Instantly bringing the party vibes that this crowd have been craving it doesn’t take long before they get the cluster down the front pogoing, skanking and kicking off their weekend a few days early. The likes of ‘Jenny’ and ‘Man On The Street’ produce some huge hooks and it’s no surprise that by the end of the set even those previously unfamiliar with the band are joining in with the cries of “I’m in love with the landlord’s daughter”.

However despite doing a great job in getting the crowd moving, the reaction that meets Sonic Boom Six, makes the crowd’s previous efforts look like a polite Saturday coffee morning get together. Opening with ‘For The Kids Of The Mutliculture’ from the band’s latest self titled album the crowd wastes little time in bouncing like they’re getting some early practice in for the 2013 ‘Birmingham Bouncy Castle Convention’ (this isn’t an actual thing before you look for tickets).

The crowd is a wall to wall sea of chaotic movement through the likes of old favourites such as ‘Sound Of A Revolution’ and ‘Piggy In The Middle’. However for the most part the set focuses on material from the band’s new album, it’s testament to both the acceptance of fans old and new alike, and the strength of said material that the likes of ‘Virus’, ‘Karma Is A Bitch’ and ‘Flatline’ cause absolute bedlam. In a similar vein to the likes of fellow bands who disregard genre conventions and do their own thing such as Skindred and even The Prodigy, this gig feels like a non stop party from beginning to end. There’s no time for a breather and the momentum is never lost in favour of an acoustic interlude or anything else that might compromise the good times. Furthermore while the band has never been shy about voicing their political values, it is very clear that another one of the band’s core values is fun and making sure everyone in the room is having it.

The band are clearly having the time of their lives on stage, never more apparent than when the band pause the action half way through ‘The Road To Hell Is Paved To Good Intentions’ to all dance to ‘Gangnam Style’ before launching back into the song as if nothing happened. While the anthemic ‘Keep On Believing’ gets arms in the air and provides a truly heartfelt and inspirational moment in the set. It’s clear SB6 love what they’re doing and it’s no surprise that the positivity and enthusiasm on the stage is being matched by those off it. If there’s any justice it’s only a matter of time before Sonic Boom Six are doing such a great job in front of much bigger crowds.

9/10

Reviewer: Gavin Lloyd

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