As Pure Joy celebrate the release of their debut album at the Buyer’s Club, Getintothis’ Amaan Khan witnesses an energetic event.
The night is for Pure Joy to commemorate their gradually rising reputation and buzz in the city. Having released their debut album, Bang Flower, the band have reached a milestone in their budding career. To help them celebrate, Pink Kink, FUSS and Beach Skulls have come together to run a vibrant launch party at The Buyer’s Club.
Pink Kink are the latest and hottest crowd pullers in town and arguably one of the most talked about new musical forces on the scene as well. Tonight, however, the band is seen in an entirely new form as three members of the pop punk quintet are spinning the discs from one side of the stage. Taking the role of the DJs for the party, they treat the crowd with some popular, yet often underplayed tunes while being their usual chirpy and glittery selves. Their appreciable selections of tunes even include some local favourites like the GIT Award 2016 nominee,Trudy.
The first band to take charge from Pink Kink are psych unit FUSS. With their jangling guitars and drone-laden performance, FUSS create the ambient sounds that hint of a certain vibe which they share with the Pure Joy. The strangeness of having a pad player sit with pillows on the floor is nothing compared to the strangeness of the space-like music the band projects.
The psychedelic and dreamy flavours of FUSS are not out-of-place and easily likeable in a city that houses a festival for psychedelic music, and the drone-like vocals, crouching pad player, free flowing melodic hooks manage to pique some interest. Yet, for this writer, unlike the rest of the audience, the similarity between the songs prevents that interest from becoming fondness. On this particular night, however, the band keeps the set short enough to keep the interest from fading for the rest of the crowd and in the end, their courage to sound different must be applauded. Certainly FUSS appear to go down very well and indeed if they can provoke such a reaction when they are first on a bill, then bigger things surely lie ahead.
Our DJs return to the stage for another brief set of tunes before Beach Skulls take the sta ge at the very moment when the track being played is The Ramones Blitzkreig Bop. The track is almost like an introduction to this trio for they are one of the most 70s punk sounding bunch of lads around with a little garnish of Surf. Even the aesthetics support their sound as singer/guitarist Ry Vieira fronts the band with his floppy hairdo, loose checkered shirt and rolled up trousers. They even treat us with a ‘cheeky cover’ of Link Wray’s Rumble.
Beach Skulls have been around for a while and the experience shows in their sound. With songs constructed with catchy guitar riffs, driving basslines, gritty drumming and clever tricks of changing the tempo, they have a sound similar to The Clash. They carry with themselves a certain rawness that makes us imagine three good friends jamming on cheap instruments in a garage. However, this rawness is what helps them show a genuine punk identity. There are many punk bands around yet very few that sound as authentic as this trio.
The last and main act of the night are Pure Joy who play a continuous set of songs. Given the people gathered here are there to support the album release, perhaps the band don’t need to chat and would rather let the music speak for itself. The first and foremost impression they give is of a band who drink from a similar cup as Tame Impala. However, it would be an injustice to limit their identity to just that because, very smoothly and seamlessly, their songs move to a field of electro-pop and sound as punchy as any song by The Chemical Brothers.
Pure Joy deliver an energy-filled set to a backdrop of psychedelic projections. The sound and the visuals are strictly attention-grabbing and successfully capture and retain everyone’s attention for the whole set. That in itself is a commendable achievement since the band hardly move from their semi-circular setup on stage and simply present the music as fleshed out in a live setting as it is on the record. From releasing appreciated singles (some of which have been featured on Getintothis’ Jukebox as well), to earning a slot at the upcoming FestEvol, Pure Joy’s set on this night is a bold statement in itself that completely justifies the buzz that has rapidly built up around them in the last few months..
Every small detail, from the crowd-pulling Pink Kink, ambient FUSS, punk Beach Skulls, projections on Buyer’s Club’s brick walls, reflections off a disco ball to the seamless musical treat of Pure Joy, appear to be very carefully planned by the time the night comes to an end. The launch party turned out to be just like the album it celebrates: carefully detailed and buzzing with energy.
Photos by Getintothis’ Jamie Evans