We Are the In Crowd impress at the O2 Islington Academy
New York State’s We Are the In Crowd have only been around since 2009 – and their meticulously-groomed band members all look about 12 – but they’ve already mastered their anthemic mall-punk sound on a hit-laden EP and début album Best Intentions, and are grizzled veterans when it comes to touring. Their dedication and vigour was repaid in full last night by a rapturous teenage crowd at Islington’s intimate O2 Academy, hanging on their every word and even propositioning them during lulls in the set.
Diminutive front-woman Taylor Jardine came across as a seasoned Rock ‘n’ Roll pro, a pint-sized bundle of nervous energy who whipped the front row into a frenzy and thanked everyone in attendance profusely for coming out, while slipping in an under-the-radar plug for the band’s upcoming autumn UK tour. Her bratty, yet world-weary voice recalls that of Hayley Williams from Paramore, but she manages to imbue her performance with enough charisma to avoid such easy comparisons. Meanwhile her band mates looked to be having as much fun as the fans, scissor kicking and throwing their guitars around to the organ-pummelling, breakneck assault of the music.
Highlights came thick and fast, from the acerbic opening one-two of Rumour Mill and Exits and Entrances to the euphoric set-closer of Lights Out forty minutes later – by which time Jardine looked utterly, blissfully exhausted and let the crowd do most of the singing, to their clear delight. The commonly held preconception that “if you’ve heard one WATIC song, you’ve heard them all” was discredited with a stripped-back encore of album closer You’ve Got It Made, with Jardine and guitarist Jordan Eckes duetting in a drowsy, after-hours setting.
This was followed up by what looks set to be the band’s calling card – new single Both Sides Of The Story is essentially a spite-filled I Heard It Through The Grapevine for the Twitter generation, and provoked an inspired, show-stopping sing-along all the way back to the mixing desk. Voices were lost, beer was thrown, undying mutual love was declared, bodily fluids were exchanged – all in a night’s work for the US’ hardest-working band, who now takes to the road for a punishing summer-long tour of the States.