Originally meant to be held at the Sebright Arms as part of their relaunch under new management, the Monday night gig was moved to Birthdays in Dalston. A venue where you could practically touch the pint-soaked ceiling. I’ve never seen so many cool people in one room, you could tell by the crowd that it was going to be a good night.
First on stage were a band called Hotel Lux. I’d listened to them before and was already excited to see them live. Although I don’t want to ruin the review this early on, they were by far my favorite band that night. There was something really authentic and different about them, it was like watching a proper post-punk band in the 70s. They were full of raw energy which just bounced off the rowdy kids banging around in front of them. The girls went mental for track ‘daddy issues’ and no one in the room stood still when they played better known ‘Envoi’. Their debut single, available to listen on Spotify, is almost hypnotic in parts and just an absolute tune really. The front man had the whole ‘British, working class and arrogant’ act down to a T, stumbling around in a Lonsdale t-shirt, spilling his bottle everywhere. They wandered off stage to the sound of police sirens.
Next on with a tough act to follow were LICE. Another band I was looking forward to but then again I could say that about all of them. Credit where it’s due and all to hosts ‘So Young Magazine’, the lineup was incredible. The Bristol boys had a real aggression about their performance which sent the crowd insane. When the floor opened up for a mosh pit, the lead singer jumped straight in. That’s the great thing about intimate venues like that, there’s no barriers or even a real stage. This band were a lot more noisy than the first and a lot more talkative, they pissed about with a fake accent, thanking everyone for having them.
In between bands, the smoking area was like a factory farm with no room to move as everyone evacuated the venue. You could tell that a lot of these people knew each other or the bands but there was a definite friendly buzz about.
Last on the pre-released lineup were Dead Pretties. I’d seen them before, supporting Drenge but they were even better this time, even more unpredictable, even more disorderly. They encouraged the major stage invasion which cleared out most of the floor. Even if it’s not what they’re going for, I feel like there’s something very Strokes-esque about their music, especially their song ‘Social Experiment’. This is in complete contrast however to their chaotic stage presence and extreme hairstyles.
The surprise headliner, as announced on the night were SHAME. I’d been dying to catch these boys for ages, ever since I first heard ‘Gold Hole’ and they didn’t disappoint. They carelessly delivered the powerful, downbeat music and it was hair-raising, with people literally hanging from the lights. They put on a really thought provoking set. Seeing them preform ‘The Lick’, a track I listen to pretty much everyday was amazing.
The whole night was spot on, massive well done to So Young Magazine. I can’t believe I’d never bought this mag before, with features on Cabbage, Goat Girl and The Big moon alongside all the bands from this night, I would one hundred percent recommend. Not bad for a school night.
Words by Kalisha Davies.
Featured image credit to April (Instagram: aprilarabella)