Surrey Fusion Fest: The Boom Booms marry maturity with party

Published: July 16, 2014

East Van band has evolved through collaboration with Grammy-winner Chin Injeti

The Boom Booms

The Boom Booms play the Pemberton Music festival Thursday night, then return to Vancouver for the Surrey Fusion Festival on Saturday and Sunday.

STUART DERDEYN
VANCOUVER DESI 

Every festival wants to book bands that are guaranteed to deliver the goods across a wide-range of audience tastes. Promoters love a ringer and the B.C. scene boasts a few who are gigging like mad this summer.

One of the busiest is the Boom Booms.

The East Van sextet just dropped its third album Love Is Overdue and hits the stage at the Pemberton Music Festival preview show Thursday night.

Then the band grooves into Surrey Fusion Festival on Saturday. Its multicultural sound is a perfect fit for the two day-long event at Holland Park at the SW corner of King George Boulevard and Old Yale Road. Along with live music from headliners such as folk/rock star Bruce Cockburn and JUNO nominated Hey Ocean, the festival includes a full roster of cultural group performances, family activities and exhibitor booths, and perhaps the most diverse food offering found at any Lower Mainland event this season. Check out surrey.ca/fusionfestival for complete listings of all of the weekend activities.

The Boom Booms’ lead vocalist Aaron Ross says it’s great to be showcasing to the diverse audience at Surrey Fusion Festival before embarking on an August tour that takes them all over the province and back (at the PNE on Aug. 23).

It’s been a really good run for the band over the past six years, even including having a track backing singer Aloe Blaac titled The Man being used in a Beats by Dre commerical.

“The first three years was all about goofing around, travelling and playing music, and then we got serious,” says Ross. “The second place $75,000 PEAK Performance Project prize proved a great jump start, and now we’ve got the new album recorded with Grammy-Award winner Chin Injeti.”

From documentary films on a contentious Brazilian dam project to playing in a number of different configurations, the Boom Booms have really settled into a refined and sweetly smooth Caribbean-tinged soul on Love Is Overdue. This is right on point with the band’s state of music at the moment.

“It may be a bit of a change for fans used to us being straight-up party, get your Boom Boom on,” he says. “For sure, a lot of the new material is a bit more in that classic Beres Hammond/Lover’s rock style we in the band are all down with.”

So the drinking and partying vibe is now married with a classy maturity that comes directly from the experience of working with Injeti. Ross says that the producer’s encyclopedic knowledge of soul, reggae, funk and other styles meant the recording sessions were a collective effort.

“He would hear what we were up to and then send guys home with stuff to listen to that he thought was where the track was headed like homework,” says Ross. “And the effect was that he really elevated our level of playing, really bumped up my singing and now we work like family. He’s already with us on some of the next stuff.”

Having woodshedded over the fall and winter season writing the new album, the band is ready to get back in action where it built its reputation: Live on stage.

The group has developed an impressive tour circuit across Western Canada playing places most others pass through.

“We are staying very busy in Western Canada this summer which is great,” he says. “But we take a lot of pride in the fact that we have gone out of our way to build those gigs in places others don’t go to. There are some fantastic shows in out of the way spots.”

Be ready to get your “Boom Boom” on somewhere in B.C. Keep up with the band’s news at theboombooms.com.

sderdeyn@theprovince.com

Twitter.com/StuartDerdeyn

In Concert

Surrey Fusion Festival

Where: Holland Park, Surrey

When: Saturday & Sunday, 11 a.m. — 10 p.m.

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