I was in Camden to shoot The Family Jools‘ publicity pics – the usual photos of a group of lads standing about in front of urban decay. The band was also playing at End of the Trail Records‘ showcase event on August 17th, so I thought I would drop in to see what else was on offer. Apart from Jools’ slick Americana song writing, one band stood out for me.
Thunder on the Left took to the stage wearing Captain’s armbands. I wondered if they were fans of the jolly Tugboat Captain, who chug along with a bassoon player in tow. How wrong I was.
The three-piece band of Arun (drums), Adam (bass), and Carla (vocals/guitar), provided a short set of emotionally charged and highly energetic alt-indie-rock songs. It would be fair to say that they seemed to be tuned into the current political zeitgeist that currently exists within UK youth culture. However, at no point did Carla channel Bono’s “This song is not a rebel song…”, nor did they break into “Oooo Jeremy Corbyn”, but the messages were clear. These guys have something to say, and boy do they say it with fire in their souls.
I heard Rage Against the Machine in there (lazy comparison to make) and the raw power of Fugazi. I suspect that fans of bands like Cabbage, Idles, Blackwaters, Weekend Recovery, and The Wild Things will be rushing out to get hold of a copy of their album when it explodes in the Autumn.
In Carla, the band has force of nature. She beat the hell out of her guitar, jumping on and off her effects pedals in her leopard skin boots. She commands the stage. In the words of Ricky Martin, her lips are devil red and she will wear you out! For the last two songs, she put down her Fender and concentrated on belting out her vocals in a voice that reminded me of PJ Harvey at her best. I got the sense that Carla is not shy to share her opinions. Is she as angsty off stage as she seems to be on it?
I was blown away by the performance from a band that has been going for a couple of years. Somehow, they are yet to be signed and to break through into our collective consciousness. TOTL are out there gigging around London this autumn. If you get the chance to see them, I would suggest that you do. The future of rock music may just depend on Carla, Arun and Adam.
- “Hurt Locker”
- “National Insecurity”
- “Draw a Line”
- “Everybody is Not Me”
- “All You all You Care About”
- “The Cognitive Map”
End of the Trail Records is an indie record label and management company that holds regular showcase events in London and other parts of the UK.
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