I got dumped yesterday. I haven’t been dumped quite so painfully since 2006, back when bands like The Killers, The Strokes and The Libertines were in the charts. And if tonight’s gig is anything to go by, Indie music, like my love life, hasn’t progressed much over the last nine years.
First up is Spit Shake Sisters, a boisterous three-piece from Brighton.
These boys know how to please a crowd, paying tribute to local heroes Black Sabbath before debuting an anti-Tory song about George Osborne. Spit Shake Sisters have a 1960’s Psychedelic edge, but also remind me of Britpop/2000’s darlings Supergrass.
And like Coombes & Co, they aren’t afraid to play with tempo and rhythm, with set-highlight ‘Blasphemer’ lurching around while always remaining tight and super catchy. Spit Shake Sisters also aren’t afraid to have a guitar wig out, which produced some of their gig’s most enjoyable moments.
Confusingly, Virals are really only one person: Shaun Hencher, who used to sing for Garage-Rock band Lovvers. Hencher writes and records the music, but is joined on stage tonight by a three-piece live band.
Together they give a cool and composed performance of radio-friendly Pop Punk that sits more towards the Pop end of that spectrum. Remember when Ash went more mainstream in the 2000’s? Tim Wheeler has more of an ear for a good melody though, and consequently Virals fail to captivate, with the gig uncomfortably petering out when their guitarist has technical issues.
It seems impossible to review The Mighty Young without including three vital words: The White Stripes. The influence is apparent in everything that they do; in the number of band, in their Bluesy brand of Rock music, and in the drawling vocals of lead singer Joseph Gatsby.
And whilst Gatsby is a talented frontman, if only they could add some other element to the mix The Mighty Young could be a more intriguing proposition. Or perhaps they could just become an excellent White Stripes covers band.
The Cedar House Band gigs are few and far between these days, so this feels like a celebration for act and audience alike. Leather-clad and full of attitude, the Birmingham band perform snarling Punk mixed with twangy 1950’s Rockabilly, generating a frantic and fun soundtrack to some serious boogying.
‘Harajuku Jive’, with its killer guitar solo and shouty backing vocals, is particularly chaotic and feel-good. Yes it sounds like every Rock ‘n’ Roll song you’ve ever heard, but that’s okay – it’s great to dance to.
But perhaps it’s time to take a step back, to think about what else can be brought to the mix. To grow and reflect. It would be good for all of us to have moved forward another nine years down the line.
For more from Cedar House Band, visit https://thecedarhouseband.bandcamp.com/
For more from Virals, visit https://www.facebook.com/prehistoricsounds
For more from The Mighty Young, visit https://www.facebook.com/ruttingdevil
For more from Spit Shake Sisters, https://www.facebook.com/SpitShakeSisters
For more from the Hare & Hounds, visit http://hareandhoundskingsheath.co.uk/