GIG: The Sunny Boys
DATE: Sunday 20th April / Monday 21st April 2014
VENUE: Harvest Home, Houghton Regis, Dunstable / Fiddlers Elbow, Camden, London
COST: free / £5 on the door
OUR VERDICT: Double Bubble fun

After having seen The Sunny Boys a few times at the Liverpool IPO, it was a welcome and pleasant surprise to find out they had put together a short UK tour, which included a couple of dates near us.

The first gig we managed to get to was in a music friendly pub in Dunstable, the Harvest Home. This was going to be our first time seeing a whole set from them, as opposed to the half-hour ones usually allocated to IPO acts.

The pub had a decent stage area, and although the place wasn’t full, it didn’t take long for The Sunny Boys to win the crowd over. Their infectious and fun vibe throughout the night made them a few new fans. It was funny watching the pub’s owner popping his head through the door from the connecting bar/games room every now and again to find out if what he was hearing was for real. Yes, it was Barbi Girl he heard!

Two full sets later, which were packed with loads of surf punk covers, with a few of their own songs included, they had a new bunch of fans looking forward to the next time the band visits. Speaking to the owner of the pub later, he said he couldn’t believe how good they were. Next time the word of mouth about just how good they were will bring in a far bigger audience for sure.

The next night we were in the Fiddler’s Elbow in Camden, for their debut London gig. There were three bands on tonight, the first being  a young thrash-metal, screaming-singer-band which just assaulted our ears. The Sunny Boys were led to believe they’d be on second. It didn’t work out that way, and after a bit of negotiation, the running order of the two remaining bands was decided on the toss of a coin. The other band won and went on next, leaving The Sunny Boys as the last act, which is not always a good slot as the audience tends to dissipate towards closing time.

The band that won the toss of the coin for the second place on the bill, gazed at their shoes and looked at their back line for the best part of their set. Not overly impressed with them.

When they finished we were a bit worried that everyone who was there to see the first couple of bands would head off. Thankfully that didn’t happen. The Sunny Boys came on stage very sharpish, and within seconds of starting, all the po-faced indie boys and girls were grinning like Cheshire cats. All the mobile phones came out too…everyone was filming it!

It didn’t take long for the audience to start dancing either to their non-stop, fast paced set. Think the Ramones meet The Beach Boys and you've got the sound in your head - an amazing set of power pop punk and surf songs with harmonies that really made their mark on a potentially difficult London crowd. These guys have oodles of energy and think nothing of playing non-stop for over 30 minutes at a time!!! The Sunny Boys triumphed, and talking to the guys from the second band afterwards, they realised how lucky they were to go on when they did. There was no way in the world they could have followed the Sunny Boys.

So, we had caught two gigs, and by all accounts the boys wowed every audience they played to on the rest of this short tour. They really made a name for themselves this visit, and the next time should see all of these venues jam-packed if they play them again.

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