The Thirst at The Garage
It’s never quite happened for The Thirst. The Brixton four-piece first emerged in 2006 onto a bustling indie scene, and seemed as likely as any of their contemporaries to strike it big. They’ve opened for the likes of The Libertines and The Rolling Stones and reviewers were always quick to praise their live shows. But it’s some indication of where the band stands some five years later that they played to a half-empty top room in The Garage last night. While metal band Gloryhammer brought their medieval-themed theatrics downstairs, The Thirst did their best to bring the funk upstairs.
Nevertheless, it was a set that proved that the band’s positive live reputation is well-earned; perhaps it’s a difficulty transposing their obvious live energy onto record that has so far held them back. They sound like a funkier Bloc Party, setting tales of love won and love lost on London’s streets to chic bass lines and whip-smart drums. While their material has never really reached the heights of the aforementioned indie stars, they can definitely lay down a captivating groove.
Mixing older material with some newer tracks from their forthcoming EP, Cry with the Saints, the highlight of the set was Damn Girl, with its falsetto chorus, sung with obvious relish by singer Mensah Hart. He has an impressive voice, which exudes a lovely, soulful quality when called upon, such as on the slower Falling Down. Due to the sparseness of bodies in front of him, he felt the need to keep gauging the temperature of the audience with repeated shouts of “Everyone alright?”
The Thirst certainly had a dynamic stage presence: the Hart brothers (Mensah on vocals and Kwame on bass) and guitarist Mark Lenihan bounced around the stage with appropriate vigour, yet their enthusiasm didn’t quite catch on with the crowd. Not that it was through lack of appreciation (there were cries aplenty for an encore at the end), but a half-empty venue always makes for a slightly disconnected gig. When you’re packed into a room like sardines in a tin can, hip-shaking is unavoidably infectious.
Photos: Krish Nagari
For further information and future events visit The Thirst’s website here.
Watch the video for Damn Girl here: