Scared To Dance returned to The Shacklewell Arms with another stellar line-up of the great and good of what can loosely be termed Indie-Pop.
Model Village may have been first on the bill, but with their third album due out next month, it’s perhaps no surprise they drew a decent early evening crowd. The Cambridge-based, five-piece are indie almost in its original 1980’s jangling-pop form; certainly they wouldn’t sound out of place alongside The Wedding Present, The Go-Betweens or The Pastels. Their set borrows largely from their new record, their first with singer Lily, and her vocal interplay with her band mates adds a harmonious edge to proceedings. The keyboards, played on a tiny keyboard on a massive keyboard stand, add a nice French-Pop feel to proceedings, and could certainly sit a little higher in the mix for our personal taste. Whilst they seem a little nervous and their patter requires a little polishing, with songs about, “a cat called Ian” and Butlins, they’re a likeable bunch and well worth keeping an eye on.
Following Model Village were a slice of Indie-Pop royalty. The Hayman Kupa Band are a new supergroup, consisting of Darren Hayman (solo artist and ex-Hefner frontman) and Emma Kupa (front woman of Mammoth Penguins, solo star and ex-Standard Fare), they’ve even roped in the superb drumming talents of Fever Dream’s Cat Loye, and an excellent bass player, Michael Wood, who based on the company he keeps probably works with some great bands too. Their sound combined the power-pop leanings always present in Emma‘s songwriting with Darren‘s more classically indie-sound, and whilst there’s moments where it’s a little too obvious whether it’s a Darren song or an Emma one, that never did The Beatles much harm. Their voices are a naturally compatible blend and as seasoned live performers they seemed very comfortable in each other’s company. Whatever the plans are for the project long-term – this was just their third show – they’re certainly highly-promising.
Headlining the evening, and playing The Shacklewell Arms for, “the millionth time” were Tigercats. Whilst they may have graced this stage many times they still feel like a band who are slowly and surely developing both their fan base and their sound. This sort of slow-burning career may be far from the norm in 2015, but it often produces some of the best music. Whilst, having arguably set our expectations a little too high, we were a little disappointed with Tigercats most recent album Mysteries, they have over the last few years become a phenomenal, slick and professional live act. The superb rhythm section laying a tight-bed of sound on which the more expressive guitars and keys and impressive duel vocals weave a dense array of harmonies. They’re a band hard to classify, borrowing as much from Afro-beat and Funk as they do Indie or Pop, but in the live setting this gives them a dynamic quality which inspired the near sell-out crowd into something that loosely resembled dancing. As an excellent set drew to a close, the baying crowd coerced them out for a well deserved encore, a joyous end to another excellent Scared To Dance gig.
H.Hawkline – Moons In My Mirror
Sweet Baboo – Gotta Hold Onto You
Flamingos – I Only Have Eyes For You
Frankie Rose – Candy
Television – Venus
Primitive Parts – Miracle Skin
The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – Heart In Your Heartbreak
Long Blondes – Giddy Stratospheres
The Hayman Kupa Band
The Ronettes – Be My Baby
New Order – Bizarre Love Triangle
Camera Obscura – Lloyd I’m Ready To Be Heartbroken
Bruce Springsteen – Dancing In The Dark
Ballboy – All The Records On The Radio Are Shite