Live Review: The Guardian New Band of the Day Live at Camden Barfly – 14th June 2012

By on Tuesday, 26th June 2012 at 2:00 pm
 

If you’re an avid fan of new music like us here at TGTF Towers, you’ll surely be aware of the constant problem we face: there’s just too much of it. Scenes are evolving into separate sub sects that inspires another bedroom artist, then someone throws a synth in to make it ‘electro’ or someone starts screaming to make it ‘core’, and before you know it that band you liked last week are no longer new. It’s no easy task to keep up with the ever-moving entity that is new music, but the Guardian’s Paul Lester has been making it his aim to stay on the cutting edge for around 1,300. His New Band of the Day column has taken Guardian Music by storm and led to a live showcase every few months in Camden, tonight is the third show and the line-up is as eclectic as ever.

Starting the evening is a Canadian-cum-German known as Digits. Despite the downstairs room looking like a primary school disco with the early-showers hanging around the edges, Digits’ moody synth-pop provides a welcome mirror image to the busy High Street outside. The honed ambience drags the slowly filling crowd away from their iPhones to watch the stage as Altman bleeps and hushes his way through ‘Because It’s Wrong’ and ‘So Cold’. It’s not get-up-and-dance music, but it’s as clever and passionate as The Weeknd and as dark as Cocteau Twins. With new EP ‘Where Do You Belong?’ out in July, Digits could find he belongs in London more often.

The first band to invite London upstairs tonight are Seasfire. Continuing from Digits’ emotive laments, the bass-laden electro indie kids are more chill-out than rock out. Vocalist Josh Thorn whispers his words delicately akin to Benjamin Francis Leftwich, while the band pull out the hooky, electronic grooves reminiscent of Everything Everything. Ranging from synthesised highs to dubsteppy lows, Seasfire add so many elements yet they reign it in and keep the sound resolutely soft and unique. Although the odd danceable section does make a leap forward the crowd are simply awe of the band about to steal James Blake‘s spotlight.

Back downstairs the Barfly has managed to cram in more people through the door to see the delightfully hippy the Hall Of Mirrors. With band members spilling off the stage, the harmonious six-piece wail like sirens of the sea, attracting weary travellers into their trap of twinkly instrumentals and Kate Bush-like vocals. The psychedelic antics are like a dream sequence inside a children’s music box that can turn nightmarishly ominous in the blink of an eye. Current single ‘Love Child’ is as quirky and offbeat as you could want but tonight’s audience aren’t all fans of the ’60s.

Late additions to the bill We Were Evergreen are welcoming gig-goers into their upstairs room for a half hour of folky fun. The concept of an upstairs/downstairs system seems to confuse some patrons who either appear mid-way through a set each time or remain on one floor throughout the event – missing half the acts in the process. But those who do make the journey to the first floor are treated to a display of ukulele fuelled summery vibes that Theme Park would be proud of. The trio from Paris have won over some fans through crowd-pleasers ‘Second Hand’ and ‘Vintage Car’. Although the combination of Hawaiian strings and kazoos was too much/little for some of the Barfly tonight, the mood has lifted and it’s time to party.

Closing the downstairs portion of the evening is the minimal maestro Bobby Tank.. As is his namesake, he comes rolling into the fray with tremendous force and gusto, levelling all before him. The underlying sound is ambient and full-on electronica, but with a Macbook and a table full of knobs and switches at his disposal, Bobby Tank introduces hints of glitch, 8-bit and dubstep into his deafening arsenal. As he stands alone on stage with the air growing thick with sweat around him, the front row is alive with arm throwers as Tank’s own jazzy moves infect the crowd. There are times where the music could hit harder and beats drop further, but the overall ambience is so catchy and simple it’s like the soundtrack to the flying level of your favourite Mega Drive game. But once the last key note has rung out, it’s back to the first floor for something more sinister than synth.

Headlining tonight’s extravaganza of new noise is the London-based former Cambridge University student, Kyla La Grange (pictured at top). Her enchanting onstage persona is boosted by the ominous purple lighting and mic stand covered in fairy lights – simple but effective. The haunting pop stylings of ‘Walk Through Walls’ and ‘Vampire Smile’ elevate the five-piece above their peers tonight to prove why they’re headlining (it’s an incredible metamorphosis from the last time TGTF saw Kyla). There’s a spooky feeling in the air tonight as Kyla dances around the stage with the suggestion her performance is some sort of séance to the beyond, coupled with her Zola Jesus-esque vocals it’s hypnotic to behold. If you spot these guys on the bill of any festivals you’re at this year, be there.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave Your Response

* Name, Email, Comment are Required
 
 
 

About Us

There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

All MP3s are posted with the permission of the artists or their representatives and are for sampling only. Like the music? Buy it.

RSS Feed   RSS Feed  

Learn More About Us

Privacy Policy