When Patent Pending roll into town you know you’re in for a good night’s entertainment. Not only the ever-bouncy headliners, but the bands they bring with them are almost always every bit as good.
Keeping up the standards of tours past are openers Sweet Little Machine. Sounding like native New York pop/punkers when they’re playing, but revealing their native Sheffield accents between songs, SWM were a great band to get the evening going. I only caught the first couple of tracks (interview duties called), but the wife and the rest of our party left me in no doubt as to how much they enjoyed the set when I rejoined them.
The little I did hear was top notch and rest assured I’ll be checking out their EP. Expect to read a little more about them on these very electronic page shortly.
Actually from the US (the arse end, apparently – Pittsburgh), are newly re-monikered old-school pop-punk act Eternal Boy (formerly The Spacepimps). They class themselves as “throwbacks” and, indeed, their sound does hark back to the 90’s when, in the words of Bowling For Soup “when Sum and Blink were funny”. Indeed, they played a cover of the latter, but to my ear sounded a little more like the former.
What really sold them to me, as well as the rocking tunes, was the superb between-song banter from marketing-professor-(seriously!)-cum-frontman Rishi Bahl. Eternal Boy really connected with the crowd which was nearing “packed” by the time they finished and if they didn’t have a ton of fans there at the start of their show, then they did by the end. Note that they’ll be replaced by Boy Jumps Ship from the 23rd onwards as the band have to head back home. A shame, but at least the band taking their place are also great!
And on to our headliners, the maddest, bounciest, loveliest band from Long Island, New York you will ever see – Patent Pending. I’ve seen these guys so many times and never once have I been disappointed. Big venues, small venues, support slots, headlining… they’re simply madcap energy with instruments and they absolutely rock a crowd from the moment they walk on, to the moment the final notes fade from the speakers.
Earlier in the evening, they’d played a short VIP acoustic set, but now we were onto the louder end of the scale and frontman Joe was surfing the crowd by the time the band hit the first chorus of opener “Little Miss Impossible”. With the crowd already warmed up by the support, Patent Pending wasted no more time ploughing into “Love is Anarchy” and “Psycho in Love” replete with an audience waving their pirate hooks while singing “Woah-oah-oah” (well, you try putting that into written words).
Channeling The Dropkick Murphys, personal favourite “The Liar, The Whisky, The Thief” was next, the walls of King Tut’s ringing as the crowd yelled the title during the chorus.
A small pit broke out for a couple of tracks, I may have been involved, but audience participation predominantly consisted of jumping up and down, waving arms, punching the air, bouncing, jumping, singing, laughing, pogo-ing, singing… erm… yeah, so the audience were pretty much a huge part of the show as always.
Around halfway through we got the one new track of the evening, a song released a couple of days ago from forthcoming release Other People’s Greatest Hits (available now from the band as they tour, for £10 or with a t-shirt for £25 – bargain!). The song they’ve chosen to go with is “Spice Up Your Life” which I had never heard in my life until I got the email through from Patent Pending’s promoter the other day.
Overall, it went down fairly well though I think the guy next to me and a couple of his friends were in my mindset… it just didn’t work for us. I’ll be honest, part of it is that I just hate the Spice Girls. Always have, always will, and even Patent Pending ripping into one of their tunes and without a doubt improving it (as I said, I’ve never heard the original), I just couldn’t get into it. Looking at the rest of the tracks on the album I know I’m going to enjoy it regardless, but I think this is the one song I’m going to skip.
At my age, the mid-set blip was perfect as it meant I could stand still for the first time in about forty minutes and rest my aching muscles. And then the band burst back onto form with “Classic You”. And “I’m Not Alone”. And… Basically the crowd went nuts right up to and through main set closing number “Hey Mario”.
Of course, we had the obligatory encore (“Brighter” and “Douchebag”) to round things off with a bang and a singalong.
Another superb night’s entertainment from Patent Pending, missing nothing but the crowd-swimming competition. To be honest, much as it’s always fun, I’m happier with the three minutes being spent on having another song in the setlist.
Looking around the audience on the way out, the thing that struck me was how many were smiling. Not just looking like they’d had a good time, but actually bearing big, wide smiles. At the end of our interview (up soon), Joe said that one word that described himself at the moment is “happy”. Trust me… it’s infectious.
Patent Pending. The happy band. Get out there and catch them on this run out – they’ve got plenty of dates left!
Photos by Ellissa Avart