The cavernous echo of the Cathedral Crypt proves just perfect for a bunch of Canadians, a post-Brit Pop collective and, er, Swiss Tony. Amen, to that says Getintothis’ Jon Birchall.
Kicking off proceedings in the frankly beautiful wig-wam crypt was Toronto synth-heavy duo Woodhands. The electronica driven pop pair were slow starters but found their way and powered through with the admirable defiance expected of a front man whose ‘axe’ of choice is a white keytar.
Equally Canadian Arts & Crafts outfit Zeus came to the stage promising 25 minutes of pure rock and roll though their first track, a choral, melodic effort promised anything but, lovely as it was. From then on though, the rest was pure catchy Weezerish riffs and the gentlest harmonies that fit perfectly with the surroundings. An extra thumb up for their chief singer for looking like Swiss Tony of Fast Show fame. Nice.
The number one rule is to never go expecting a song. It’s basic, textbook. Still, I was pining to hear the delicate ‘In the Summertime‘ from Rural Alberta Advantage‘s debut album Hometowns when they graced the crypt stage with the dusk sun bringing a soft glow through the huge stained glass window. Even reads nicely doesn’t it?
Alas it never came, but in truth, with a short, intense set, I don’t think anybody was overly concerned as theirs is a catalogue of indie rock with the ability to stun and delight in equal measure. It did me and I’m still complaining about what they missed out. Rule two: reviewers love a moan.
With the briefest of sets and some unusual messianic off stage dancing, my own logic suggests that I shouldn’t have enjoyed Cold in Berlin. But (you knew it was coming) for the sheer force with which they delivered their aggressive, early Yeah Yeah Yeah‘s style take on punk, it was difficult to take your eyes, or switch your ears off. A blinding show that left me a tiny bit deaf.
Fortunately my ears were provided the comfort of familiarity soon after. It’s not only The Kooks that are bringing 2006 back at this year’s Sound City after all, for when Young Knives‘ Henry Dartnall started belting out the opening riff to ‘Weekends and Bleak Days (Hot Summer)‘ I, and the rest of the swelled crowd were taken back half a decade. Has it really been that long?
Crucially, the Leicestershire trio haven’t spent that time in the same way as their Brighton counterparts and are still producing post-punk with a poppy enough feel to keep the older fans, and new ones also, interested. Keep an eye out for ‘Silver Tongue‘ which concluded a set full of energy and wit. Now I just have to find where those five years have got off to.