A fairly last minute change to the venue opening time meant I arrived at The Institute, Birmingham to an already packed out room that was quite clearly enjoying the first band of the night – The Hype Theory. Although I didn’t manage to catch all of The Hype Theory I did see enough to know that this female fronted band knew what they were doing when it came to involving their audience and getting them ready for the bands that would follow them.
After Hype Theory, we were expecting Suburban Legends but much to the delight of Patent Pending fans Mario and the Brick Breakers made a surprise appearance. For anybody who doesn’t know of them, they are a spoof band in which the Patent Pending band members play Nintendo characters; Mario, Luigi, Toad, Yoshi and Donkey Kong.
As their alter-egos, Patent Pending have just released a “best of” album which accompanies a mockumentary following the rise and fall of Mario and the Brick Breakers, it is a must for any old school gamers! Mario and the Brick Breakers played Princess Peach and Boom Boom, Pass The Mushroom which most definitely got everybody worked up for Patent Pending’s main set.
Suburban Legends came on almost straight after Mario and The Brick Breakers. Falling into the ska genre, I knew to expect a lot of energy in their set, as is typical of ska bands, but they just went above and beyond my expectations. They were very interactive with the crowd which everyone seemed to love and all of their songs were upbeat and good to have a dance to, whether you knew them or not. There were a couple of covers in the set list from their new mini album ‘Dreams aren’t real but these songs are’ which features Disney songs, they played You Got A Friend In Me from Toy Story and I Just Can’t Wait To Be King from The Lion King which not only went down well but gave people who aren’t familiar with Suburban Legends songs the excuse to have a sing along. As well as having their upbeat tunes, they had dance routines, which were both funny and impressive to watch. Without a doubt I would recommend checking these guys out.
Patent Pending were greeted on stage by their extremely excitable fans, myself being one of them. I only discovered this band in April when I went to review them for Birmingham Live but I was taken with them almost immediately so when I heard they were coming back for the Brighter Tour I was excited to get the opportunity to see them again. They delivered a dynamic set from the moment they stepped out on stage opening with the song Psycho In Love. It’s difficult for me to pick out specific highlights of this show because it was all genuinely such an awesome set from beginning to end. On a personal level I loved seeing them perform Dance ‘Till We Die because its my favourite song of theirs but also hearing the whole room sing Spin Me Around was really quite something. It is a beautiful, acoustic song that Joe (vocals) performs alone.
As expected there was an aspect of comedy thrown in, at one point this involved Joe (vocals) and Rob (guitar/vocals) bumping and grinding, and twerking like “old people”. Yes, this may sound slightly odd but it completely describes the sense of humour of the band and their fans and it got a lot of laughs. They also did a scene from the Walking Dead which has had many memes created online previously.When they performed Shake Weights And Moving Crates Joe (vocals) joined the crowd, Anthony (drums) took over on vocals, Rob (guitar/vocals) took to the drums and they had a fan take Robs place on guitar, it was all a lot of fun. As well as the comedy, they did bring with them a serious, heart-felt message regarding depression. The band are eager to make depression something that is more openly discussed and they want to let people know that if they are having problems big or small that it will get better!
This was followed by the song One Less Heart To Break, which echo’s the message they are trying put out there. There were a couple of cover songs in the set list the first one being I’ll Be There For You by The Rembrandts which of course is well known for being the theme tune from the T.V. series Friends, and that was followed by Every time We Touch by Cascada. A little later in the set they also covered ‘Build Me Up Buttercup’ by The Foundations.
All of the cover songs were a big hit with the fans, which saw a majority of the room singing along. The band finished the main set with a favourite for Patent Pending fans Douchebag. The fans had most definitely not had enough, chanting “we want more” until Patent Pending returned for an encore. They performed Brighter and then the song that I’m sure most people, if not everybody, were waiting for Hey Mario. During the entire Patent Pending set there was only one problem and it was absolutely no fault of their own and that was an issue with some of their sound tech. but in no way at all did it affect the show because everything else in my opinion was superb.
You Got A Friend
Can’t Wait To Be King
Bright Spring Morning
Psycho In Love
I Already Know (She Don’t Give A Shit About Me)
The Whiskey, The Liar, The Thief
We’re Freakin’ Out (Map to Tahiti)
Dance Till We Die
Spin Me Around
Shut It Down
I’ll Be There For You
Everytime We Touch
Set The Sun On Fire
Shake Weights & Moving Crates
Build Me Up Buttercup
One Less Heart To Break
There Was A Time
Photographer: Shaz Rafferty
Words: Gemma Bywater