Date: 2nd May 2016
Venue: The Boileroom, Guildford
There’s nowhere else I would rather be on an otherwise dull Tuesday evening than at a gig. Tonight I saw the long-awaited Beach Baby play on the last night of their first UK headline tour, and also got introduced to two cool up-and-coming bands. I think Guildford’s independent venue, the Boileroom was the perfect place to host all three.
Big Bug is comprised of Charlie, John, and George; with origins in both London and Guildford. This bad were a good opener to warm up the crowd and get them off their feet. What started out as quite an unmemorable set transformed into quite the opposite once lead vocalist, John revealed the impressive set of lungs on him. As pleasurable pop tunes were being belted out by the trio, I began to get the feeling songs such as ‘I Don’t Believe in Love’ would be badly sung by a group of drunks somewhere at 2am tonight – the perfect end-of-the-night-sing-a-long song.
As front man, John, flounced around the stage, it was hard to decide whether he was more immersed into the music he and the boys were creating or more immersed into his high. Either way, their performance was a good one, with their new single, ‘Painted Blue’ sounding like a potentially perfect gloomy-pop anthem and their set receiving a warm reception from the audience. Hopefully, things will only get bigger and better for this trio.
Check out their facebook here
Check out their soundcloud and stream their single here:
The musical dream this group creates speaks for itself.
I bumped into Nancy and the guys from Babeheaven and got to hang out with them momentarily before they went on stage. Nancy seemed simultaneously nervous and excited to end their first UK tour with Beach Baby with a bang, and the guys were telling me how they indulged in a ‘when in Rome’ moment and played a pre-gig football match (Babeheaven V Beach Baby) in the local Waitrose carpark – Can’t get much more Surrey than that!
I had heard Babeheaven songs dotted around the place in the weeks leading up to tonight, and was excited to see them live, but nothing could have prepared me for Nancy’s voice. Her delicate but haunting voice paired with the ambient guitar/keys created an indie dream floating around the room on a cloud.
The unique sounds that the individuals of this London-based group each created just fitted together perfectly. Many indie bands of late tend to sacrifice vocal quality for edgy guitar riffs and catchy monotone hooks, this group does quite the opposite of jumping onto that bandwagon. Everything is assembled around Nancy’s voice – and rightly so! It was the pinnacle of the set and the highlight of the night. With pretty much every musician multi-tasking between instruments that come in at the perfect moment on each track, this band (with, surprisingly, only one single out so far) demonstrated the type of on-stage synergy that is usually only seen in much more established bands.
The first single of their’s, ‘Heaven‘ was performed with grace and poise. Just as I was being taken into a trance of spacey sounds and gentle words, steel drums came out of nowhere to both enhance the beat of the song and bring me right back down to earth. Other great tracks included ‘Listen to Me’ and ‘Run Away‘, I cannot wait to see these tunes transpire into indie-pop hits and the most wanted 7inch vinyls around.
Check our their soundcloud here:
Getting better and better while perfecting their profession a little bit more with every gig.
I first discovered Beach Baby when their single came through my letterbox as part of a Flying Vinyl release, and I knew from the first chord being struck that this was a band that were going to make an impact on the alternative scene.
As they made their entrance onto the stage, the guitarist spoke “You guys are in for a treat”, and they were not wrong. With the harmonies that are casually dotted around their tracks being excecuted with perfection throughout the set, the Beach Baby boys filled the room with their summery feel-good indie hits for the evening. They even managed to warm up the predominantly ‘too cool’ audience of Guildford enough to see some head bobs and foot taps which is certainly an echievement here.
This group, after a long time grinding through the alternative-pop scene looking for a big break, are now oozing out confidence in their polished hits on their first UK headline tour. However, it could be said that tonight’s performance felt ever-so-slightly complacent. Whether it is due to the Boileroom being the band’s last stop on their nationwide tour, leaving them tired and overworked, or the band are becoming overly content with their performances, I’m not sure. But at times, especially when either two front men were singing solo, the dulled-down vocals that are so easy to fall into with ultra-cool, Vaccines-esk music were pushed out to the room. However, this lack of energy was compensated for through humerous chats with the audience inbetween tracks and the clever spacing-out of the band’s best hits and audience favourites within the set.
Beach Baby’s indie-pop hits with their clever lyrics and lovely meloncholly undertones are taking the UK by storm, and tonight I could see why. Overall, I am confident in this band’s journey to indie-pop celebrity status and ability to keep bringing good vibes.
Give their latest single a listen here: