Sonic Boom Six
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.