Live Review : Twin Red : Surya LDN : 01/08/17

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It’s another lovely evening and I head down to Surya to shoot a few exciting bands.

Surprisingly there are not too many people there, but I guess it’s because its’ still quite early. Since I’m already here I can get ready with no rush. The show actually delays of half an hour, so nothing starts before 8.00 pm.

The room is very quiet, probably up to ten people in the crowd and mostly are friends and members of the other bands. “Black Palms” is a London base band that plays a Bluesy/ Grunge Rock enriched by the melodic and energetic voice of the lead singer/bassist Bri. Their music is pleasant and very enjoyable and the best part of the performance comes on the last song, where you can feel the adrenaline in the air. It’s their first gig of the summer and also Bri’s birthday. What a nice way to celebrate a birthday.

The evening goes smoothly and it’s now time for “Another Poe” – another London based band but their music is instead a Progressive/ Alternative Rock. The thing that comes up straight away is the creativity that they own. Eddie, the lead singer, has so much energy that he is jumping on the stage during all the performance followed by singing and playing the keyboard. There are actually a very good amount of people in the room I can spot few of their friends cheering and dancing along.

Last but not least it’s the time of “Twin Red” a band based in Hannover (Germany). They are able to create a catchy and independent Alternative Rock that impresses using creative and diverse song writing. They are pretty popular in their home country and after two EPs and one album; they released their new one on May 27th call “Please Interrupt”. The audience loves them. They are very excited and happy to be here because it’s such a big opportunity for them. At the moment they are touring the UK, so make sure you catch them in some of the other dates because they are very talented.

My evening ends earlier than usual but I enjoyed myself and discovered some great new artists.

 

-Selena Ferro

 

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Live Review : Double Denim

double denim (c) anna edwards

In the back of a pub by the docks, beer flowing on a Friday night, I learned that Double Denim is back in fashion. The website said “psych-fringed Indie rock with a nod to a dirty weekend spent with Fleetwood Mac” and the gig showed that was true. There’s a definite Nicksesque quality to vocalist Chelsea Orme-Williams’ stage presence and vocal style, tinged with Lana Del Rey’s mellow-drama character and a harder edge more reminiscent of Lynn Gunn. Jake Bradshaw’s free-flowing basslines and Tom Burrows’ relentless energy combine to make a rhythm section as bulletproof as the Mac’s on any night. Double Denim aren’t one of those bands you tell your friends sound like anyone though, because they don’t. This Plymouth foursome are hard to pin down.

Latest release ‘Paperman’, about their dislike of Plymouth City Council (no, honestly – Chelsea said so onstage) drops social commentary over straightforward, powerful riffs and driving rhythms but it’s got too much polish to be anywhere near a spit-and-mosh punk track. An occasional quaver in Chelsea’s voice shows a softer side and gives the hard-edged shouts more menace, and sterling guitar work gives it an immediately recognisable indie feel. It’s a danceable, singable song that doesn’t fall into the trap of trying to be anthemic and ending up predictable.

‘You Don’t Tell Me’ showcases guitarist Harry Stephenson’s voice in harmony with bassist Jake Bradshaw. The folk-punk tinge to the track gives it an unmistakeable Gogol Bordello influence, and the irreverent lyrics show some Cosmo Jarvis touches here and there too. The diverse voices work fantastically well on the recorded track and stood up well to a tiny room and big amplification live – Double Denim’s singers never vocally step on each other’s toes and there wasn’t an off note between them.

Fans of Bear’s Den’s latest synth-chorus sound will love the introduction to Double Denim’s ‘Ian’. It’s a shimmering, glittering gem of a track, starting out as a melodic riff over slow two-part vocal that waves about eight effects pedals in your face. That said, it quickly builds to a more urgent, louder nature that loses any folky touches in favour of shouts and big drums, and I never got the feeling that I was watching a pedalboard performing instead of a band. This is one to play when the flames are dying on the fire you made with mates outside, or to drive around a city to at night. Check out the behind the scenes video they made too – it’s as artful as the real one.

Double Denim are friendly and casual enough onstage for you to think they’re a friend’s band, but at the same time they’re a million times better than than your flatmate sweating over a fretboard awkwardly brandishing a guitar behind a singer chewing their way through the chorus of ‘Wonderwall’. Here’s a band that can turn on a penny, one moment laidback shoegaze that you nod along to, the next a jumping, grinning frenzy of energy like a ripped jeans teen at their first Slam Dunk or Warped Tour.

It’s a mark of Double Denim’s songwriting craft that they can bring these contrasts into the same song and keep an audience with them. There’ll be a sound in every song that takes hold of you, keeps you, and that you won’t let go. Catch them live, then head home to watch one of their brilliantly-produced music videos as you hum everything you heard them play live.

 

Words : Joe Morel – Photo : Anna Edwards