11th July 2014.
Make some noise for me, Lestaaa…
Sonic Boom Six at The Soundhouse.
On stage tonight: Goldstein, Super73 and Sonic Boom Six.
Sonic Boom Six, the punk and ska band from Manchester, are no strangers to Leicester, having played in the city several times before, as we say below.
The band has released four albums, three compilations and several singles and EPs. Tonight they were back at The Soundhouse, courtesy of Trusty Husky’s Mark Elliott, and this time with two new local support acts.
Goldstein is a Leicester band that has been popping up a lot recently. On June 8th they were in the final of IWBARS at The Shed where they ‘opened the evening with a storming set of rocket-fueled punk songs that had their fans at the front moshing and dancing.’ Tonight the Leicester trio got the Soundhouse’s big night off to a thrashingly good start with their infectious mix of ska and punk.
Strong on attack and having two good vocalists, their vigorous and energetic presence brought their scintillating songs to life. Skilfully blending together the compulsive rhythms of ska with the relentless aggression of punk, Goldstein delivered fast vocal passages and a brutal attack from all three musicians to provide the room with a set of fiercely forceful songs pushed out by kinetic volumes of sound.
It is not uncommon for people for people to tell me how much they enjoy Goldstein. I have to agree. The band’s razor-sharp playing and incendiary performances fired up the evening from the start and launched this crazy night with a plentiful dose of adrenalin-dripping music.
From the first shouts that heralded the start of Super73’s set, we knew we were in for something incessantly mental. From start to finish, Super73 proved that they are one of our definitive power-rock bands.
Tonight they demonstrated how to deliver a jet-propelled, incandescent half hour of driven music that created a totally electric atmosphere. Sounds that were full of explosive ordnances were relentlessly driven along by the vocals of Mark Whinkless, backed by Stephen Potter (when not himself leading the singing) and by Andrew Winfield on the drums.
The air crackled with many watts of electricity, from the stage sparks were flying out into the room and ear-wrenching screams poured forth, struck through with machine-gun fire drumming. When it comes to super-charged rock, it doesn’t get better than this. People were packed into the front of stage area, dancing like mad things and there was a buzz in the house. The music of Super73 is also cleverly crafted and slick in the way it is delivered. A band that just gets better and better. They are one shit-hot band.
Sonic Boom Six started their set at 10:35. This was a ‘wish you were here night.’ I just wished some of my mates were here tonight and their mate’s mates to witness this moment in the music life of Leicester. As gigs go (around here) this was an iconic evening ; having said that, there has been a run of big events in the past few weeks. That doesn’t stop you from thinking that all those people who opted to be somewhere else tonight missed out on an amazingly good night of music.
The Soundhouse is what I call an ‘intimate venue’ – one that allows fans to get up close to the bands they love the most, a totally different experience from the festivals and stadium gigs were you could be many yards away from the front of the stage. The crowd packed into the front of stage area, only inches from the band members, playing on the low stage, and even I couldn’t wrestle my way into the throng of dancing, moshing party-goers to get the photos I was hoping for.
Part of the atmosphere of tonight’s show was the frenzied dancing, jumping and bouncing that went on throughout Sonic Boom’s set, in an area that was hardly bigger than my living room. So, the full force of the atmosphere and the music was full on and literally in your face. It was an intense experience that many people enjoyed immensely – a riot of music, dancing and personalities. It might be a small venue but it gives you an experience you cannot easily get elsewhere.
Sonic Boom Six’s music was driven by mesmerizing rhythms and beats that get right under your skin, penetrating your emotions and whipping up the atmosphere into a party spirit. Laika K fronted the show pretty much throughout the set, singing and talking to the fans, making the whole thing up close and personal. She drew the crowd into the action with consummate professionalism, working the night with that magical skill that comes with long experience and lashings of character. This is a band that delivers a total experience to fans that are totally into their music and that is something worth seeing.
“Make some noise for me Lestaaa…”, Laila shouted, to be greeted by a chorus of cheers and whistles from the crowd. She is a wizard at working a crowd; fronting a show as intense as this, with a crowd as crazy as this lot were, takes a lot of skill and Laila has that skill like no other. This was not one of those gigs where people dance for one or two songs; tonight’s crowd were bouncing and moshing throughout the hour and a half-long set. They were kept on their feet and, even after the first hour, it was still pretty mental down at the front.
The fans joined in with the songs and that is what The Boom experience is all about. It’s all-singing, all-dancing, non-stop party. It felt at times like one of those gigs from the early days of punk, those films we see, where the Clash or the Sex Pistols are playing with a bunch of people engaging a rugby scrum of a crowd pit. That’s not something you can download from the Internet; it’s an experience you have to be there to get. Their set finished at 11:45.
Sonic Boom Six’s fifth album is on the go now, and fans are being invited to pledge their purchases for it online. This is a method of funding productions that is gaining in popularity these days and there are links, on the band’s website and Facebook page, to ‘Operation Boombox.’
Strangely enough this middle of the month, middle of the summer season, gig failed to draw the level of attendance I expected, given the popularity of the three bands on offer on tonight’s programme. That is no reflection on the promoter’s level of publicity; there was no shortage of advertising in the run up to the show. It might have been the £8 ticket price that pinched the pockets of Leicester’s over-burdened rock fans’ wallets, following the draw of Kasabian, Download and Glastonbury and some, though by no means that many, were over at Hinckley for the festival that started there tonight. On this hot July night there were quite a few people chilling out on the patio. It was worth the sweat though to be inside for this unforgettable experience.
Ahead of tonight’s performance by ska band Sonic Boom Six, we looked back at the band’s previous appearances in Leicester.
Monday 5th October 2009, The Shed
All this was a prelude to the main act of the night, as the mighty Sonic Boom Six came on stage to give us a performance that will long be remembered. This a band that is great to listen to but amazingly good to watch. They don’t just play tunes, they put on a show and they are one high-caliber act. Whilst their offering of punky, hip-hop, ska-ish songs is not musically exceptional, their massive stage presence certainly is. Fronted by the storming Laila K, SBS delivered a professional sound that throbbed with passion and energy. They brought the packed Shed to life with a set that bristled with energy and compelling beats. They look like five iconic rock stars and everything about them exudes that big band image. At the end of the set they played a poignant farewell song to “Ben Boom” , their guitarist who tonight played his last appearance with the band. Many people left the Shed at the end of the show thinking, as I did, “I was so glad I was there”. The Shed is full of surprises. [Arts in Leicester magazine, 2009]
Sonic Boom Six played at Summer Sundae Festival in 2009.
Sonic Book Six played at the Soundhouse on 14th October 2011.
It was one of those magic nights. A big crowd of people had packed down to the front. They were bouncing around and waving their hands in the air as Sonic Boom Six got into their set of totally infectious songs. A hot atmosphere for a hot band as the crowd went mad for their songs. People have traveled a long way to get tho this gig. This was the second date in the band’s current UK tour. Last night they played in Derby. I wish all nights could be like this. They were on stage tonight with Last Edition, and The Great Imitation. A memorable night with a capacity turn out. [Arts in Leicester magazine, 2011]
3rd November 2012, they were back at The Soundhouse.
Leicester bands that have supported them include Last Edition, The Great Imitation and Smokin’ The Profit. They played at The Charlotte and The Shed.
Sonic Boom Six is playing at The Y Not festival in August.