Tudor Pub booming with British imports
October 30, 2008
Sonic Boom Six is hoping to get started with a bang on the West Coast.
The ska-punk quartet from Manchester, England, will make its West Coast debut on its second U.S. tour, including a stop at the Tudor Pub.
“This is going to be the first time and we’re looking forward to it,” said vocalist Laila K, while bass player Paul “Barney Boom” Barnes is looking forward to “movie stars, gambling, and all manner of sunshine and frolics” in California and Nevada.
Sonic Boom Six made its first successful tour of the East Coast earlier this year and added a swing up and down California with three dates in Nevada. Sonic Boom Six will play the Tudor on Tuesday, Nov. 4, with Inhale and Chase Long Beach, both from Southern California.
“We’ve got a lot of friends back home in bands … that never made it over to America,” Laila said. “It’s a massive place and so important, and people never made it over.”
It’s difficult to get U.S. fans to tune in without playing here, Laila said.
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“Until you’ve done that, you’re kind of like disconnected from it.”
The limited U.S. exposure and mostly Manchester accents notwithstanding, Sonic Boom Six shouldn’t have much trouble finding new fans in Tahoe. The band mixes jagged punk with English ska, dancehall and hip-hop that’s pervasive but not obnoxious.
“That’s a good crowd for us,” Barnes said. “Snowboarders and skaters ” extreme sports.”
While Sonic Boom Six’s most current album is “Arcade Perfect,” which netted a perfect five stars from iTunes users, the band is drawing most of its U.S. playlist from “The Ruff Guide to Genre Terrorism,” its 2006 full-length debut.
The current lineup ” Laila, Barnes, guitarist Ben C and drummer Neil “Madfish” McMinn ” has opened up new sonic dimensions for the band the new trombone player can also play bass, and McMinn’s drums have live samplers.
And three members can handle the vocals. Khan’s responsible for raps and squeaks, according to the band’s MySpace page, Ben C for the growls and Barnes for the barks.
“We have started to get a formula for it, really,” Ben C said. “It just came out of it initially being kind of an ego battle and then it settled into the way we kind of do things.”
All three swap verses from the beginning of “Ruff Guide,” each bringing a different style.
“We have like a game of Twister: Whoever wins gets (the verse),” Barnes joked. “Laila usually wins because she’s limber.”
A guest spot by New York toaster Coolie Ranx is the most overt hip-hop element on “Ruff Guide,” but all three vocalists flow as well. Laila called the references to hip-hop “cheeky” ” like biting KRS-One’s “Sound of Da Police” on “Piggy in the Middle” and one-upping Black Star (which in turn swiped the hook for “Definition” from the Fugees’ “Vocab”) on “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge.”
“We all want to have a bit of a rap, so we all split it up because we all want to do it,” Childs said.
Although Barney said he grew up with hip-hop, Laila said she discovered it in school, when the core of Sonic Boom Six started coming together.
“We just sort of played around covering songs like Faith No More and Alanis Morissette,” she said. “I personally didn’t grow up with hip-hop. Hip-hop sort of came to me when I went to university, broadened our musical horizons.”
Sonic Boom Six has opened the Love Music Hate Racism event at the Glastonbury Festival, as well as the Reading and Leeds festivals in 2006, replacing Paramore. The band has appeared with like-minded acts the Aquabats and Reel Big Fish, and Khan joined the latter ban onstage.
The band sometimes covers “Sound System,” and while Sonic Boom Six won’t get to play the song on Operation Ivy’s home turf in East Bay this tour, it’s likely there will be a chance to in the future.
“I think next year we’ll be over again, and it’ll hopefully become more of a recurring thing,” Laila said.
Chase Long Beach’s hometown is in its name. The band cut its teeth with Reel Big Fish, Save Ferris, Less Than Jake and the Plain White T’s, according to its Web site, and is touring the U.S. and Europe in support of its new CD, “LeBeC.”
Inhale returns to Tahoe from Riverside. The band formed in early 2005, re-established itself in 2006, and has ranged from San Diego to Las Vegas and Arizona. Guitarists Tommy S. and Juan Canales, Ryan Pipitone on bass, Jesse Vargas on drums, and Mike Silva on vocals and trumpet, blend rock and reggae.
Who: Sonic Boom Six with Inhale and Chase Long Beach
Where: the Tudor Pub, upstairs at 1041 Fremont Ave.
When: Tuesday, Nov. 4