Last week Scared To Dance returned with their fist gig night of 2016. These bi-monthly events are quickly becoming hotly anticipated events on the burgeoning London indie-scene, and this month’s selection were no different, showcasing three very different, but equally enjoyable acts.
Opening proceedings were London’s own Young Romance, the guitar-drums duo formed back at the start of 2012, but progress since then has been something of a stop-start affair. There was a single, Pale, back at the start of 2013, a four track vinyl EP, Wild, early in 2014, but four years after their formation fans of the band are still waiting for a real recorded statement for the band. It’s a testament to the quality of their limited studio output, as well as their live shows that anyone’s still interested. As they take the stage, the crowd are still filtering in but already a sizeable audience has gathered. The band waste no time in launching into a live set that has all the bristling tension of their recorded output, but foregoes some of the lush reverby-atmospherics for an altogether more raw and aggressive live sound. The star of the show is singer Claire’s crystalline, powerful vocal; she stands behind a drum kit, her rhythmic primal drumming forming a skeletal backing for Paolo’s buzzing, weaving guitar lines. They’re a band who seem to have matured, and grown in confidence, happy now to accept, and even embrace their tendency to operate in music’s darker frequencies, in doing so they’ve become an excellent live band and heightened expectations for their debut album, whenever they get around to releasing it!
Talking of bands who took a long time to release records, next up were pastoral kraut-rock quintet The Leaf Library. The band has been actively making music for the best part of a decade but it was only last year that they released their debut album proper. Thankfully Daylight Version was worth the wait, adventurous, beautifully produced and featuring one of the longest list of guest musicians we’ve ever seen; it was exactly the sort of album you can imagine taking ten years to get right. Live, some of the albums dense layering is obviously removed, but they still manage to make an impressively rich woozy-drone, the vocals rarely rising above the music, these are tracks to get lost in, and whilst maybe not the most obvious choice for a Friday night out there’s plenty to admire in their atmospheric beauty.
Headlining the evening was critically acclaimed Belfast trio Sea Pinks. Their most recent album, Soft Days, received a plethora of good reviews, radio play, and plenty of comparisons with the likes of Real Estate and The Smiths. The majority of tonight’s set is lifted from that album, the bands fifth, and it’s clear from the crowd’s reaction that it is this record which has created the move waves. Tracks like Yr Horoscope and Depth Of Field are well received, and it’s easy to see why with their effortless jangle and catchy, lightly poppy choruses. It’s the polished set of a well drilled touring band and whilst there’s little in the way of interaction with the crowd, it’s a set that suggests Sea Pinks are a band who are going to make the most of their recent well deserved hype.
Veronica Falls – Teenage
Sauna Youth – Transmitters
Slug – Running To Get Past Your Heart
Night Flowers – Bound
Steven James Adams – Togetherness
Bruising – Honey
Meilyr Jones – How To Recognise A Work Of Art
The Psychedelic Furs – Pretty In Pink
Hookworms – Radio Tokyo
The Sharades – Dumb Head
Allo Darlin’ – Capricornia
The Velvelettes – Needle In A Hay Stack
Belle And Sebastian – The Boy With The Arab Strap
The Ronettes – Be My Baby
No Age – Eraser
The Wave Pictures – Great Big Flamingo Burning Moon
Orange Juice – I Can’t Help Myself