London – Mean Fiddler
Sonic Boom Six seem to have been supporting just about every band and their dog lately, but with performances as animated as tonight’s, they really ought to be headlining venues of this size by now.
Still, livewire vocalist Laila Khan and the boys don’t seem too bothered, as they serve up a gloriously colourful collage of rap, ska, dub and hardcore with an enthusiasm not seen since the days of their much-missed kindred spirits King Prawn. A welcome treat for the early birds.
Swedish quartet Two Point Eight provide the perfect soundtrack to a cider-fuelled moshpit with their raw street-punk anthems, but it’s hard to overlook the fact that songs like ‘Red Eye‘ and ‘Cop Kids‘
are virtual Rancid rip-offs, right down to vocalist/guitarist Fredrick Bjorck’s Strummer-esque drawl. For all the bile and conviction in their performance, there’s precious little to get excited about.
Flogging Molly, however, are a band to believe in; and as ‘Screaming At The Wailing Wall‘ incites mayhem amongst the sold-out crowd, it’s clear that the converted are out in force. Having been written off by many as a ‘bar band’ in their early days, Flogging Molly’s present popularity is a victory for authenticity and passion in the face of an increasingly cut-throat music industry; and the sense of celebration is almost tangible as Dave King and his crew rip through folk-punk crowd favourites like ‘Drunken Lullabies’ and ‘Selfish Man‘. Fiddle/tin whistle player Bridget Regan is the unsung heroine of the band; her studied presence a perfect foil to the chaos that surrounds her, and by the time they close with a barnstorming ‘Seven Deadly Sins‘, the floor is a sea of sweat-drenched smiles. A triumph, no less.