Electric Guest at Scala
With Electric Guest having already conquered festival stages around the globe (America’s Bonnaroo and SXSW, Switzerland’s Montreaux and Australia’s Splendour in the Grass), anticipations were running unusually high for the band’s London debut.
In addition to the Californians’ weighty performance credentials, they’ve also had a song in the French singles charts and lined up blockbusting producer Danger Mouse to produce their addictive debut album. This may seem to be a boon, but when trying to please a taste-making crowd of Londoners, such unquestionably positive credentials can prove the Achilles’ heel to a band that’s “big elsewhere”.
However, Electric Guest were having none of it. Frontman and vocalist Asa Taccone – the group’s undisputed heart and soul – took particular steps to ensure the group’s brief but powerful set of soulful indie hits-in-the-making received an exemplary airing. Taccone fronted the band with the restless swagger and camp cool of a Purple Rain era Prince, only ceasing his elfin gyrations between songs to work the crowd with all the charm of a dexterous pro.
The band emerged from hushed, expectant reverence by kicking off with the undeniable groove of Under the Gun – a song so catchy that, when released, it could unquestioningly sell the band to anyone in less than four minutes. Heard live, it did the same in less than two.
Put simply, Electric Guest are what good American pop music has always been about: they’re catchy and colourful, their influences are disparate, and furthermore they ooze Californian cool. The band’s biggest bonus, in the form of the charismatic Taccone, is possibly also their greatest downfall. He’s a character destined to divide audiences due to his flamboyant persona, but that is also the very thing that puts the catchy and soulful tunes of Electric Guest ahead of the rest.
Invoking both the soul revivalist spirit of Amy Winehouse and the indie-electro of Empire of the Sun, Electric Guest are merely hinting at what’s to come. Expect dynamic performances throughout the summer and chart climbing hit after hit.
Photos: Helen Parish
For further information and future events visit Electric Guest’s website here.
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