Imagine being at a wedding, where men in tuxedos match the elegance of women in red-carpet dresses. The age of the guests varies from small children to senior citizens. Suddenly, silence fills the room as Batman confidently walks past the buffet table. Superman follows in his wake. The bewilderment escalates as more superheroes join the scene, all heading towards the stage where they plug in their instruments and get the party started. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Crash Boom Bang.
This Thursday Crash Boom Bang celebrates its fourth anniversary at the Cairo Jazz Club. The Egyptian cover band gained a following quickly because they play different songs to other cover bands. “The time we spent choosing our set list was actually more than we spent rehearsing,” said vocalist Amr Yehia.
Crash Boom Bang’s first performance at the Cairo Jazz Club consisted of non-stop popular hits from the 70s, 80s and 90s and the audience loved it, dancing the night away on their favourite songs from yesteryear.
“As much as playing totally different songs than the rest of the bands was an advantage for us, it was also a burden,” said Yehia referring to the expectations of audiences. Yehia does not believe that the band initiated this new way of compiling set lists, but it “let us get out of the box.” He said, “enough with the songs that are played over and over everywhere.”
Crash Boom Bang sprinkle a sense of humour through their tight performances. A few months after their debut performance, audiences were taken by surprise as the band members wore Arabian thawbs (white Arabian clothes), while performing rock, funk and disco hits.
It became a trend and audiences never know what to expect. Over the years the band has dressed up as Romans, Pharaohs and tribal people.
The idea of dressing up in costumes that are not relevant to the music originated after watching a performance of the Lebanese musician Ziad El-Rahbani, in which the band wore wigs, sunglasses and retro costumes while playing funk and latin-jazz.
As soon as they returned to Egypt, Crash Boom Bang started wearing wigs and glasses. “And then we started taking it to crazy extremes like the Roman Empire theme,” said Yehia. At one of their performances, when they were dressed up in traditional Upper Egyptian clothes, an Upper Egypt wedding procession band performed traditional wedding marches during the band’s entrance.
Crash Boom Bang was formed from two popular cover bands, Vybe and Junk Male. Since there is enough seriousness in everyone’s day-to-day life, the band wanted a name that reflects fun. “We thought that Crash Boom Bang is a fun name, we did not want it to be something like The Metalist or The Bad Boys,” said Yehia, laughing.
One of the problems facing the band, like most other underground artists, is the Syndicate of Musical Professions. “Since all of us have experience in the scene, we know how to handle problems with the syndicate,” Yehia said, “but I feel sorry for the rising talent.”
The theme for the upcoming anniversary show is sports. “We thought it was time to promote sports and good health,” Yehia said and people attending the celebration are supposed to wear their favourite sports outfit. “We need people to be a little bit crazy, and then we give them a bit of our craziness,” Yehia said, “it is a chain reaction, until we see who is the last one standing.”