The boxing ring had moved to a new warehouse for the latest in the series of Fluffer Pit Parties.
As usual, the secret location was revealed shortly before I drove into East London. This time Fluffer Records had laid on the latest of their showcases at Hackney Downs Studios – a hidden away arts centre. I knew that Spring King, Demob Happy, and Nova Twins would be waiting there for us, playing the 360 degree stage. After a bit of a wait for sound checks to finish, I was all set to sample some more Fluffer raucousness.
Wow. This lot are warriers of the highest order. They came, they made a hell of a noise, they conquered. A three-piece of Amy Love (guitar/vocals), Georgia South (bass/backing vocals), and a brilliant drummer, Tim Nugent.
Nova Twins brought a riot grrrl feel to the night. They banged together a mash-up of influences. I heard Rage Against the Machine in there along with Daisy Chainsaw, Hole, Kravitz, Babes in Toyland, and, of course, Skunk Anansie. Jah Wobble would envy Georgia’s distorted bass lines, and Amy’s cutting, chanting, rapping lyrics shook the hall. Grimey, punky, rocky.
Nova Twins are unique. Their sound can be traced to past glories, but they are very much in the here and now. And how.
Amy admitted she never washes her hat. She’s probably too busy crafting hypnotic riffs for that (or designing jackets). You can probably tell that I liked those Nova Twins.
Three guys – Matt, Adam and Tom, from Brighton. Two skinny dudes with scruffy facial hair and a drummer who looked like he may have been a reject from Hanson. I was half expecting “MMMBop“, but nooooo!!! Demob Happy are a solid indie/psychedelic rock band. No cheesy grins for them.
Their music sounded a bit like what would happen if Tame Impala and Nirvana had a drunken night in bed with Muse. Strong whiny guitars, sharp bass lines, and stretching whiny vocals. Have a listen to “Dead Dreamers” or “Junk DNA” to see what I mean.
The trio faced each other across the stage and begged us in one song to meet them “on the corner.” It was also the second time in two days that I had heard a band ask if anyone “has got any gaffer tape?” I must buy some shares in that product.
Headliners Spring King came to the stage and faced up across the four corners.
The cosy nature of the staging and the virtual blackness in the room did make their performance feel more like a rehearsal with a few mates they’d invited round for a beer. With all four of the band providing vocals and smiling at each other, it did come over as a bit like a love in. Indeed, I had a vision of boy scouts singing around a camp fire – maybe not quite the punk thing that Fluffer are looking to recreate. Or perhaps Mancs just like each other more than soft Londoners.
At one point, Tarek Musa, the drummer and lead vocalist, did remark that it felt like a boxing ring and maybe Pete (Darlington) and Andy (Morton) should have a fight. Instead they were showered with beach balls and other inflatables. Quite appropriate really as most of their music is a rockier version of the Beach Boys. Highlight for me was the catchy “Rectifier”, which has been compared to the Artic Monkeys‘ “The View from the Afternoon” (according to people on YouTube!). Not forgetting “Who Are You?”, which is another banger and I reckon out-strokes The Strokes.
Spring King have been at it for five years and undoubtedly deserve their fan base (they are supporting White Lies next week). They make an enjoyable noise that’s worth a listen.
- Better Man
- It’s So Dark
- They’re Coming After You
- Take Me Away
- Tell Me If You LIke To
- Who Are You?
- Let’s Ride
Marcus Jamieson-Pond is a regular gig reviewer for The Revue. His other write ups can be found here. To see full sets of photos from this gig and more than 200 other bands shot in 2017, visit www.jampondphotography.com
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