Date: 15 May 2017 Venue: The Sebright Arms, East London Genre: Indie-pop Words and photography: Steph Baker
Lately, it seems that only once in a blue moon do you come across a band that not only pleasantly surprises you, but also manages to genuinely captivate a pub basement full of unsuspecting 9-to-5ers on a Monday evening. Tonight the Sebright Arms was graced with Middle Kids, the Sydney-based trio composed of Harry, drummer and bringer of all energy; Tim, the perpetually mysterious dude strumming in the corner, and the truly uplifting presence of front-woman Hannah. You know when you saunter into a gig not really knowing what to expect with a mate after work and then after hearing one chorus you realise you’re in exactly the right place, witnessing something really quite exciting? Yeah, that was what happened tonight.
Many indie groups of late seem attached to the idea that in order to be the coolest kids around, you’ve got to strip back all personality from your live set, and look as angsty and misunderstood as possible. Sure, it’s a fine act for the first ten minutes, but it was refreshing to see a new band not give a shit about that and instead concentrate on making genuine connections being made with the crowd throughout their set. The authenticity in what they are doing and what they’re trying to achieve is clear. Recent hits such as ‘Edge Of Town’ and ‘Never Start’ nonchalantly tell their wise stories and bleed out bittersweet memories while also creating an infectious and simply fun vibe around the room. One song is all you need to both get out deeply-hidden frustration into the open, and also ready your care-free self to get pleasantly drunk on a Summer’s day – I reckon that’s the idea anyway.
And then we have tracks such as ‘Old River’ and ‘Your Love’, touching on more emotive confessions and melancholy moments. Middle Kids manage to seamlessly transport you from delicate moments of contemplation into dizzy whirlwinds of power and pounding guitar riffs, without blinking an eye. It’s no wonder that music royalty, Sir Elton John has passed on his seal of approval to this group ahead of their debut album – which the crowd were understandably excited to hear about. We also got to witness Hannah perform a solo track, which showcased her powerhouse vocal range and ability to fill the room with only one instrument and a set of very raw lyrics.
The final few songs of tonight, which included the new track ‘Mistake’ brought the crowd a stirring mix of easy-going folk-pop and spontaneous melodic madness. With a taste of what’s to come with the debut album, this Aussie trio is surely one to watch and definitely one to seek out live, whether it’s around Europe, or Down Under.
Bosco Rogers consists of Barthélémy ‘Barth’ Corbelet and Delphinius ‘Del’ Vargas, and after seeing the successes of two introducing EPs, and the funky single ‘True Romance‘, the duo have put together their debut album, and we managed to get our hands on it before it’s released next month.
The highlights of this album are varied across the kaleidoscopic spectrum this duo have created. With ‘Anvers‘ being an ulta-cool single, setting the trend for what Bosco Rogers have to offer being sharply contrasted by ‘French Kiss‘: a bass-heavy, psych-guitar track mirroring the likes of Temples. Meanwhile, the hit single ‘True Romance‘ is pleasantly reminiscent of the melancholy sound of MGMT. This track is about “never losing your sense of curiosity or wonderment at the world” according to Del; The world is going downhill in front of our very eyes, but we still need to experience every little bit of it while there is still some real beauty remaining.
This album is simultaneously realist and joyously psychedelic in its execution: Bosco Rogers experiment with state-of-the-world addresses and depreciating lyrics while weaving them into exuberant, 60s-esque riffs and hooks. It is the sort of album that may well represent the ultra-cool summer sound of the next few months, which is a strong reception to gain from a debut album as it makes for a promising future. Despite having full potential to reap these rewards, ‘Post Exotic‘ seems at times overly sporadic: with the differing arrangement of tracks suggesting slight confusion or misconception over exactly what Bosco Rogers is as a musical entity. But these are issues that will naturally resolve themselves, as the Franco-Anglo due continue to grow and gain confidence in there place within this messed up musical world. And we are very much looking forward to that progression.
Pre-order ‘Post Exotic‘ now here while listening to the hit single ‘True Romance‘
Danish trio, Slaughter Beach are steadily making a name for themselves across Europe. With a sold debut EP, ‘Love/Venice‘ being met with delight two years ago, the boys are back, with their biggest and boldest endevour yet.
Opens with a psychadellic riff, brought down to earth with a low electro-bass line before immursing you into an intense dreamy state. The chorus is huge, with the sort of peculiar voice that would make for a memorable night at gigs and festivals. The undertones of imperfect youth that excude from the likes MGMT are pleasantly balanced out with levels of careless elation and freedom that create a sort of indie bliss.
Salughter Beach are a mysterious bunch to say the least, with singles popping up every now and then, and sporadic influences from both their homeland and the likes of Elliot Smith and Smashing Pumkins from America and the UK. ‘Glaze‘ is certainly a step up from their debut EP, but you still get the feeling from listening to it that this trio still have a few surprises up their sleeves, and we’re just going to have to wait for them. This is the sort of band that could explode on the alternative scene in no time, and this single shows that perfectly.
Listen to Slaughter Beach‘s massive new tune below:
London quartet, Carnivals, are starting to make a name for themselves on the scene, with their psych-rock riffs and alluring leading voice of Cal Green blaring out all over town. Making their way around London after releasing debut single ‘Shadows‘, this is the sort of band that are going straight for the real deal, and skipping the inexperienced, half-hearted stage that you often have to endure with fresh alternative bands. This is why they are ones to watch.
The musical influences that Carnivals thrive off are clearly wide-spread, with touches of the likes of The Temples,The Doors and The Growlers creeping through at various points in their material and image. Cal Green reveals his wealth of life-experience and wisdom in his voice, as can be heard in the debut single ‘Shadows‘, meanwhile fellow band members occasionally chime in with 70s-esk harmonies behind Cal.
The potential for some on-stage heavy energy is shown in the opening bars of this track as well as in Harry Wood’s drumming throughout. However, for now, Carnivals are focusing on showcasing their lyrical expertise, with warning words and melancholy tones. These are carried perfectly with Joe Hannen’s intriguing psych-pop riffs that are reminiscent of early Temples material.
Check out what Carnivals are made of below:
Carnivals have also announced that they will be gracing the Jack Rocks This Feeling stage at Isle of Wight Festival this month.
Here’s a live review of Teen Brains written for thnksfrthrvw
Date: 5/10/2015 – Boileroom, Guildford
Tonight started like any indie-rock gig worth going to, with a playlist consisting of artists such as Superfood and Grimes playing in the background, an excitable young crowd with aspects of every style and musical taste mixed into the equation. This was reflected in the bands lucky enough to support Teen Brains, there was something for everyone, including the grungy magic of Biggs and alternative rock sounds of Jetti.
Teen Brains came on with a cool, laid back instrumental before blasting the crowd with reverb-heavy, indie hooks and vocals reminiscent of the Drums and Darwin Deez. With the bassist bouncing around the stage and the front man’s cool-boy persona, you could not help but be charmed by this up and coming band.
The crowd were treated with one of the band’s early releases from their first EP, ‘Annabel’, which consisted of simplistic but haunting vocals layered with funky bass lines and intricate drumming. It would be good to hear this track with slightly less reverb on the vocals in order to hear what is a seemingly charismatic voice, but tonight’s performance had the desired effect nonetheless.
Teen Brains are going up in the world, that much is true after tonight’s performance. With their hazy and almost psychedelic pop sound alongside their nonchalant stage presence reminiscent, the crowd were left with the hope of being those dickheads who boast about going to the band’s gigs in their early days before they hit it big.
For fans of- Hooton Tennis Club, The Drums, The Jesus and Mary Chain (in the early days)