This night was a world-class mixture of talents.
Local lad Jack Little and his acoustic guitar warmed up the stage. His softly sung Ed Sheeran-esque approach with emotional and silly songs gave a much-relaxed atmosphere as people started to turn up.
Even though he had troubles with his guitar strap throughout Always Tomorrow, it didn’t faze him. He just carried on with his funny anecdotes about parking tickets and introducing his song called An Ode To Simon Cowell after playing another couple of “sad” tracks as he described them. Jack definitely won the early crowd over with his hilarious iPhone Song.
Next to make noise was Oxford’s Black Candy. I had no idea what to expect when they came on saying they were a friendly bunch, asking the crowd to come closer. They then almost immediately shouted, “jump the fuck up”. They fantastically smashed the atmosphere to pieces blasting their hair raising heavy rock and showing off their crazy intense light show. From the first riff they were intoxicating and woke the crowd up.
Unfortunately they were not for everyone’s enjoyment as I saw a young kid amusingly holding his ears shut and frowning.
Black Candy’s confidence drew the attention, while some of what they performed sounded a lot like Rage Against The Machine. The only issue I had with their set was their vocals being indistinctive and drowned out.
But with that out of the way, they got the crowd intrigued, bopping, tapping and clapping away. The audience later showed a big sign of respect to Black Candy when they said it was their last song; the response was “boo!” as if to say they wanted more.
Sonic Boom Six couldn’t have picked a better or more humble main support act. London based alternative punks Ghouls tiptoed onto stage testing their instruments just before playing an introduction leading into their fierce London’s Burning.
Wherever they go, on stage they really know how to control their presence. The songs they played from their new album Run coming out in May sounded brilliant over the PA system. Particular highlights for me were Seasonal Affective and the blistering Disavowal.
Ben’s speeches about supporting bands and enjoying the music without caring how you look to others was quite a nice touch, as was the jazz-like music in the background. A big part of the crowd gathered at the front dancing and jumping along as they played fast-paced fan favourites Dive In, Oceans, Live, and then ending with Great Expectations.
Although I have seen them a few times before, you can never have enough of Quit While You’re Ahead, which they didn’t play unfortunately.
Now, Manchester’s multi-genred Sonic Boom Six. It has been around two years since I have seen them and they have not lost their touch or energy. They kicked off their segment with Do What You Wanna Do then instantly goes back in time with Sound Of A Revolution where practically everyone starts fist pumping the air and skanking along.
Even though this was the softest crowd I have seen at a Sonic Boom Six concert, For The Kids Of The Multiculture was still highly explosive for the night this far. The whole set list was dynamite. Even the songs I didn’t think I knew really stood out and made me remember why I like Sonic Boom Six so much.
They kept it political and current with songs like No Man No Right and From The Fire To The Frying Pan, which weren’t originally in the list, but because of recent events they couldn’t resist. The floor was literally thumping as they played punk rock belters Meanwhile Back In The Real World and Keep On Believing.
They then brought on Russell from Ghouls to do trombone section and help them play a few old ska tracks giving everyone a splendid change of pace.
With the night quickly coming to an end Bigger Than Punk Rock and The Road To Hell Is Paved With Good Intentions got people going mental. It was brilliant watching the audience finally letting go. The final three tracks, though, were stealers of the night. Everyone was just so enthusiastic. Firstly singing along loudly to the soft and sweet Sunny Side Of The Street, everyone was bouncing around and really enjoying the vibes.
Then for their infamous Piggy In The Middle everyone returned to being a mental stampede before Virus was the climax giving everyone one last chance to dance and so we ran with it.
It was an incredible night with so much diversity. Experiencing it with so many like-minded individuals really made this a night to remember.