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The Boom Booms
Come prepared to sweat with The Boom Booms

Do You Want To Boom Boom?

Vancouver's The Boom Booms are bringing the heat; you need to bring a towel.

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By Shelley Gummeson

It had to have been 30 degrees at the Barn Stage of the Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival. It was about to get hotter. What looked like pieces of kites were suspended overhead to try and protect the sun soaked, sweaty crowd that was shoehorned in, jumping and dancing with Aaron Ross, the engaging lead singer of The Boom Booms.

From the stage Aaron asks, and then leads the captivated, beaded, flip flop wearing crowd to crouch down to the ground, and be silent.  The festivalgoers comply, and the energy is slightly contained.  You can hear the music drifting over from the other stages on the grounds.  With a leap into the air Aaron compels the audience to spring up and dance, arms raised. The Boom Booms launch into music and song and the synergy is palpable.  From the dance steps of some of the old soul groups, to a swaying reggae beat, to a hot Latin rhythm, they wrung everything out of themselves and their audience.

This is how The Boom Booms bring it to each show.

Not only did I catch the energetic show, I had an opportunity to talk with Sean Ross of The Boom Booms prior to their appearance.

The Boom Booms are a fun loving, easy going, socially conscious, six-piece group that hails from East Vancouver.  They weave Latin, funk, soul, reggae and rock into a sound that makes it impossible to stay still. 

The Boom Booms
The Boom Booms have used their success to aid
education projects in Africa.

Banding together in 2007 the group started finding their groove and a growing group of appreciators.  One of the ways the Boom Boom’s shared their music was block parties and as It turns out they also raised money for a number of community projects, their own and abroad.  When asked about them Sean laughs, “Oh the block parties, they started about 5 years ago I guess.  We all grew up in the same neighbourhood.  My grandpa lived next door to my mom, and the backyards were connected.  We were living there and thought there were no sweet outdoor parties in East Van so we put together the first one.” Sean continues, “ It went so well, and looked like such fun that we decided to make our music video and threw two block parties in a month.  The camera crew came in and that was the “When the Night” video that got onto Much Music.”  The video reached #6.  Sean goes on to say that they’ve had three more block parties.  “This one will be the fifth and probably the final one to happen in grandpa’s backyard just because they’re starting to get pretty big. We’ve got plans for a festival we’re going to start next year.”   

This multi-faceted group not only throws a great party they are also turn their attention and energy to environmental and political issues that are meaningful to them.  The money raised at the last couple of block parties went to projects in Nairobi, Kenya for a sustainable waste management program and they were able to fund the first soccer field in one of the slums.  It was the first Public Park and space.  This year Sean says they are still funding their friends in Nairobi and closer to home, helping out after school programs in Vancouver for inner city kids.  “We’re making sure we take care of our own neighbourhoods,” says Sean.  They’ve also turned their attention to the Belo Monte Dam in Brazil with a music media project called Boom Boom Brazil. 

The Boom Booms, with their gypsy ways make a good case for wanting to join a band and see the world.  “We’ve been travelling so much with the band and we’ve always been focused on living a good life,” says Sean.  “We played wherever we could in Latin America.  We took the band to Europe and busked in front of Notre Dam and busked in Barcelona and Scotland. We fused as a group there. Then we realized that as soon as we got focused all those things that we picked up like trying to draw a crowd of complete strangers in France, all the things we would do transferred into our bigger live shows.”    This focus netted them a cash award for second place, through Vancouver’s 102.7 FM The Peak Performance Project in 2011 and most certainly is giving them the means to create a stronger profile and evolve their music.  You can hear this progression in their latest EP Make Dat Do Dat which can be found on Bandcamp.  Sean says about the EP, “We had some new ideas that we had brewing and had been playing at live shows.  While we had the time to hop into the studio, we wanted to give the people a taste of what we had going.” 

You can get a big heaping taste of The Boom Booms as they are set to play at Sarah McLachlan’s Voices in the Park and go on their North America Tour.

As I reclined in a zero gravity lounger under the awning of my trailer, taking respite from the sun, a group of 4 dudes walked past me. They were animated and energized.   Three of them were wearing T-shirts that said, “I © 2 Boom Boom”.  The fourth was shirtless.  I called out, “Hey nice T-shirts!”  I get two thumbs up from the three fashionista’s.  The fourth says, “My shirt is at the tent.”  I comment, “Too hot to Boom Boom I guess.”   In a chorus they shout out, “It’s never too hot to Boom Boom!”

Sean Ross sums it up best: “The Boom Booms are coming to your town.  We’re going to get the party going.  We want to get you guys involved.  Come to a Boom Boom party expecting to perform because we’re not a band you can just sit and watch, we’re a band you’ve got to get involved with.  Be ready for The Boom Booms to come and bring a towel.”

To find out more, you can listen to The Boom Boom interview in its entirety on Earshot.

 
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