Patent Pending + Suburban Legends @ The Institute, Birmingham – Friday 17th October 2014


Review by Jo Lloyd, photos by Mark Lloyd

There are very few gigs that attract such a hyper crowd as Patent Pending and seeing as this was their first UK Headline show I was personally very much looking forward to what they had to offer.

Unfortunately due to the early door times and it being a Friday evening, traffic conspired against me and I missed first band The Hype Theory and the special addition of Patent Pending’s side project Mario and the Brick Breakers, but heard great crowd feedback as I walked through the foyer.

Suburban Legends
Suburban Legends

After hearing positive things about main support band Suburban Legends after other support slots featuring the likes of Reel Big Fish, I couldn’t wait to see their show. Getting the crowd to hi-five a stranger and kicking in with the aptly titled ‘High Fives’ got the room bouncing.

After playing countless times at Downtown Disney, Suburban Legends unsurprisingly supplied a set peppered with guilty pleasure songs featuring ‘You’ve Got a Friend in Me’ and ‘I Just Can’t Wait to be King’ with their signature ska twist. Incredibly fun and bouncy choreography mixed with amazing talent really made for an enjoyable experience. Even the crowd sing-along to ‘Sweet Caroline’ as Brian Klemm took over vocals from Vince Walker was absurdly original. The party on stage was so much fun that PP frontman Joe couldn’t resist getting in on the action and joining in.

Half an hour just wasn’t long enough and they left the crowd begging for more, but this was short lived as the wait for Patent Pending wasn’t long at all.

Patent Pending
Patent Pending

Being a band that never stands still makes for an exciting, yet exhausting show. Front man Joe is about as crazy as they come. Before the crowd knew anything, he was up on the sound desk balcony adopting a security guard before embarking on a solo “crowd swim”. This replaced the swimming competition generally saved for later in their set. The atmosphere in the Library was much more of a party vibe where everyone was there for a reunion with their ‘Second Family’ and there wasn’t one person there that didn’t look like they were having the time of their lives. The set was full to bursting with sing-along favourites like the theme tune from Friends and ‘Build me up Buttercup’. However, there’s also the serious undertone of depression and suicide which has affected the band personally. This particularly comes across when you listen to some of the lyrics, especially on new track ‘Brighter’. Serious messages aside, these guys put on a tremendous show and whether the crowd were die-hard fans or whether they discovered them more recently (like me) supporting Bowling for Soup there was something for everyone and no one would have left that venue disappointed!

In all honesty this could have been a co-headline show as they both rate as two of the most fun bands I’ve ever seen live and I’m already looking forward to the next party.


See more of Mark’s photos here