Patent Pending have a certain charisma that cannot be easily compared. But they are known for more than just incredible stage presence, they almost always take awesome bands on tour with them. Tonight, in Birmingham, those bands are Sweet Little Machine and Eternal Boy.
Sweet Little Machine are from Sheffield. But they sound like they’re from California. This is a band that would not be out of place playing the old punk venues around Berkeley, Oakland, and the like. The obvious comparison that I’m trying to make is a British Green Day, but that’s kind of underselling them. There’s jumping and riffs everywhere, but to see them is the only way to describe them. Go to http://sweetlittlemachine.bandcamp.com/ and get their EP, "War", it's bloody good times.
Next is Eternal Boy, from Pittsburgh. Their sound is throwback Pop-Punk, a la vintage Blink 182. Which is funny, because they did a cover of Blink. There’s also songs about ex-girlfriends and current loves (looking at you, "Katie"), which are brilliantly catchy, and they definitely come across as a tight unit, and seem to be going even harder tonight because it’s the last night of tour for them. Find them on iTunes/Apple Music under the name “The Spacepimps”, for some reason.
Patent Pending are a fantastic band. They move fluidly, and Joe is all over the stage, and in the crowd from the second they step on stage. As a band, they know why they’re here. For the fans. They are not a huge band, with a huge following, but the following they do have is incredible. They call themselves the Second Family. They are not a fanclub, or a cult. This actually feels like a family. They’re inclusive and passionate about the band and other fans.
Back to the band on stage though. The set list today comes from the entirety of Patent Pending’s back catalogue. They enter to the strains of “Little Miss Impossible”, from the “Second Family” album, and smash through “Love is Anarchy” and the absolutely huge shanty that is “The Whiskey, The Liar, The Thief”, and from note one, the audience is on top of it, almost outsinging the band. Halfway into the set, we’re treated to a mashup, coming from their new album, “Other People’s Greatest Hits”, which is a cover of Tiesto and Avicii’s “Wasted” and “Wake Me Up” respectively. It goes down incredibly well, and works a lot better than you might have originally thought.
We’re headed towards the end now, and everyone is still moving as though it was the first song. “Dance til We Die” comes out with what appears to be enhanced vigour. Mario and The Brick Breakers’ (Patent Pending’s Mario themed alter egos) “Hey Mario” closed the set, before Patent Pending came back out for an encore of 3 and a bit songs, including a snippet of Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” and a tear-jerking performance of the incredibly moving “Second Family”, which had many in tears. No you were crying, shut up.
“Douchebag” closes the performance, and everybody is left wanting even more, and refuse to leave until they’re ushered out by the security. This shows the level of passion of this 2nd Family, they don’t want to leave, and on leaving, are talking to complete strangers, and arranging to go to the afterparty, or another show on the Spring Break tour.
I can’t wait until they come back round, and entertain us all over again. Job very well done, boys.
Words and Pictures - Adam Reynolds