Skip to main content

15th November 2011

Live: Sonic Boom Six @ Moho Live

SB6 aren’t exactly changing the world but with as loyal a fanbase as theirs, it doesn’t look like they’ll be disappearing anytime soon either.

Sonic Boom Six
Moho Live
15th October

2 stars

Teenage ska-punk gets a bad rap. Unfortunately, through all their pseudo-political rallying, and ‘give yourselves a massive cheer’ hyping, Sonic Boom Six didn’t do much to dispel its reputation.
The night was kicked off with an unexpectedly anarchic and brilliant support set from local hardcore ska-punk hooligans Stand Out Riot, who made good Moho Live’s reputation for intense and intimate local gigs. The contagious enthusiasm and brutal confidence of lead singer and trombonist Francis Hunt translated to sheer hedonism in the crowd. In terms of a live experience, especially for a support band, it doesn’t get much better.

After such an intense warm-up act, it felt strange to be apparently the only one let down by SB6, who played an enthusiastic but unconvincing hour of angsty, forced and pretty unremarkable tunes in uniform ‘I Heart MCR’ t-shirts and trucker caps. As a quick look at the crowd makes clear, it is music made for teenagers, designed to be frustrated over at home, then cathartically screamed and fist-bumped to live.
Between distinctly average songs, their on-stage presence consisted of repeated and shameless self-promotion, lazy crowd-pleasing soundbites (there’s only so many times you can chant “sound of da police” without wanting to set fire to someone), and the odd manageably political outcry to get everyone all good and angry.
Despite all this, there is something to be said for the show. The introduction of each song sparked huge cheers of recognition, and letting the crowd choose from their back-catalogue was pretty well received. They’re not changing the world, but anything that gets a crowd as enthusiastic and damn-near reverent as this Moho Live crowd seemed to be must be doing something right.
In their final song ‘Back 2 Skool’, lead singer Laila K preaches “…soon I know you never leave the playground”, which was pretty unfortunately appropriate to a disappointing set.

More Coverage

Jorja Smith – falling or flying: Answers and more questions on the star’s second outing

Jorja Smith returns with her second album – an honest update on the headspace on the 26-year-old international superstar

King Krule returns to Manchester on his UK tour: All you need to know

Archy Marshall, better known as the titanic King Krule, returns to Manchester Academy on the 7th October

Alive Festival: All you need to know

Alive Festival is back for its bigger, better-than-ever second edition – here’s all that you need to know

Hak Baker live in Manchester: Giving a geezer the mic

Hak Baker brought a combination of laughter, impromptu dance-floors, and rum to the O2 Ritz on his Worlds End FM tour