With the world seemingly filling up with ever more news reports of debts, crimes, wars and bickering there comes a point when you need to just switch off the TV, put down the newspaper and make an escape to somewhere more friendly. When that escape is needed, what better place can there be than a gig in the company of Sonic Boom Six, The Lafontaines and Under The Influence to cheer you up and show you that the world is actually a pretty cool place to be?
This brings us to this evenings festivities in the Tunnels, with a most welcome return to Aberdeen for the Manchester-bred Sonic Boom Six headlining to brighten our evening. More of them later though, as first up we have Under The Influence taking to the stage, for a set that takes the title from Glasgow as Under The Influence's ‘most Northerly gig yet’, and glad we are to see them… Sadly, taking to the stage so early has its repercussions, with people only starting to filter in as the band do their thing, which in my opinion is very much their own loss: they're missing a superb young band who have thrown their all into the show. Frontman Murph restlessly prowls the stage and floor, mic in hand and doing his absolute utmost to get everyone involved, and getting the crowd down the front and moving to their blend of rap infused metal and punk. They blast through their set at speed, which reminds everyone that they are here to have some fun and listen to some cool music.
After a break from the music while the stage is reset for the next band, we are all suddenly called back to attention as the voice of ‘that bloke who introduces shows on the telly’ (who Google reliably informs me is named Peter Dickinson) booms out over the PA to herald the coming of our second act of the evening – The Lafontaines'. Taking cue from where Under The Influence left off they spend no time getting everyone in the room involved and pumping up the energy levels. The sort of show that doesn't fail to leave you happy, even causing spontaneous and rather bizarre outbursts of dancing in the crowd (it would of course just be cynical of me to suggest that alcohol may be involved in any way). All of this is topped off superbly by a distinctly Glaswegian twang to the rapped vocals. This gives a nice reprieve to the generic American tones of many artists nowadays, and adds something of a local Scottish flavour to The Lafontaines' unique style of rap/rock music.
Of course as much as the supports this evening can get everyone involved in the show, there is always going to be the one band on the top of the ticket that everyone has been wanting to see, and today that title goes to Sonic Boom Six. Touring in support of last year's self titled album it is a welcome return to Aberdeen for the band (their first trip North in a few years), and an opportunity for many of us to hear the new album played live. With that in mind Sonic Boom Six launch straight into the opener of Sonic Boom Six with the track For The Kids Of The Multiculture, upping the energy of the room even further and getting everyone going. It's a timely reminder that there is more out there than the bad stuff on the news, and they show us how to have a good time. From there Sonic Boom Six stick mainly to the new album, with songs like Karma Is A Lady and Virus being played fairly early by a band showing no hint of the fact they had to postpone a gig a few days earlier due to illness. Despite sticking to the new album for most of the set, we do get treated to a couple of older tracks to keep the old fans happy, and as an excuse to get the melodicas out again, alongside a Streets track as tribute to the sort of artists that got the band into music themselves. A couple more tracks from the new album and a request for good places to head off to afterwards, this evening's gig is a prime example of how to have fun listening to cool music.