Charly Bliss pitched up in London’s East End to play only their second ever non-US gig.
The Old Blue Last pub is a real East End boozer. It’s a Victorian building on the corner of a cross-roads, and it has a tight upstairs venue that has seen most of the bands in “the scene” over the years.
Tonight saw Charly Bliss and Whenyoung take to the tiny stage in front of a sold-out and packed-in crowd of Shoreditch hipsters.
Three-piece originally from Ireland who are now plying their trade in London. For a moment, I thought we were being invaded by members of Kagoule as Niall Burns (guitar) and Andrew Flood (drums) took to the stage in boiler suits with European Union motifs pinned to them. Niall mentioned half way through their set that people could buy these from their merch stand. I’m not sure if he meant the badges or the boiler suits, although the suit would be a great piece of memorabilia.
Aoife Power (vocals/bass) is the third member of the band. In her black PVC trousers, she reminded me of Suzi Quatro in her heyday. Like Suzi, Aoife bangs out throbbing bass lines, although during the more contemplative “Sleeper”, she picked up an acoustic guitar.
Whenyoung are a solid alternative rock band. Highlights of the set (for me) were probably the catchy, poppy indie riffs of “Actor” and “Given Up”.
You know sometimes you hear a band and you know most of their songs, but you didn’t know it was them? For me, that’s Charly Bliss. Playing only their second overseas gig, they laid down a massive claim to become the indie darlings of the UK. After all, their ear-worms have seemingly already invaded these shores.
Arriving on stage, Eva Hendricks made clear her rock and roll credentials by swigging from a bottle of bourbon. She was joined by Dan Shure on bass, Sam Hendricks on drums, and Spencer Fox on guitar and backing vocals. A group of great looking New Yorkers, who could easily have been part of the cast of a brat pack film in the ’90s or be found hanging about in a coffee shop with Friends.
You know sometimes you hear a voice and you think you know it? Well, Spencer is also the voice of Dash in The Incredibles movie. I have to admit that I didn’t actually recognize him – Eva kindly let it slip during one of her very enthusiastic links.
So back to the music.
Charly Bliss play cheerful, chuggy, indie songs that have an infectious quality to them. Songs tell tales of love interest anguish and how modern life is generally a bit rubbish. Eva has a slightly nasal, high-pitched, and vulnerable voice that complements the fuzzy guitar sound and occasional Pixies style bass lines. The set was taken mainly from their very digestible debut album, Guppy. My fave track of the night being their opening number “Percolator“, which also has a video worthy of any superhero saga.
Eva comes over as the sort of person that everyone would want at as their friend. She also plays a mean rhythm guitar and injects a sense of fun onto the stage. The anthemic “Ruby” was introduced as a song about her therapist. Another tune was prefaced with, “A song about how I suck at everything”. Eva loved the audience and we loved her. She couldn’t believe that people on a different continent knew the lyrics. “You guys fucking rule”, she shouted.
It was the incredible Charly Bliss that really rules. Dash back to see us again soon.
Charly Bliss at The Old Blue Last was promoted by Rock Feed Back, who have an amazing line up of gigs in the UK for this Autumn.
Marcus Jamieson-Pond is a regular contributor to The Revue. For more gig photos including many more of Whenyoung and Charly Bliss, visit his website.
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