Tokyo Police Club at Rough Trade East
Music temple Rough Trade East saw Canadian indie-rock band Tokyo Police Club take to the stage last night for a short gig in support of their new album Forcefield, released a few days ago. Not many people attend the event; most of them perhaps have come to discover a new group, some are there hoping to enjoy a free concert regardless of who’s playing and just a few are actual fans. Whatever the reason, the atmosphere is relaxed and everybody seems to have a good time indeed.
It’s a small venue, there are no special effects to wow the audience and it is no highly-anticipated show. Tokyo Police Club are (still) folks like us and that’s probably one of the explanations of their limited success. It looks as if they’re rehearsing in their garage instead of performing in public – the interaction is poor and the energy they release is inadequate. The sole drummer, Greg Alsop, seems to be deeply immersed in the music and devoted to infecting everyone else with the same good vibes he’s feeling: he often closes his eyes in such a rapture that he appears to be possessed.
There are attempts to involve the audience as everyone cheers after each song but as the band play the impression is that something is missing. It could be a bit more spark in the performance, it could be David Monks’ unimpressive voice, it could be due to a repertoire mainly made up of merely nice but not-so-sharp tracks.
Argentina, opener of the new record, loses its peculiarity as its cut halfway through (it is originally a short rock opera in its own right). Not Sick and Beaches reveal a clean sound but also that the singer’s voice is nothing special, sometimes even failing. Nature of the Experiment and Favourite Colour are slightly more engaging but still not giving thrills.
Some more excitement and innovation comes, though, with Bambi, rendered with a longer instrumental introduction; Juno – building up from a solo to a choral performance (also joined by the crowd); and in the end Your English Is Good, more energetic and apparently the band’s most famous hit.
Tokyo Police Club may not be the next big thing but they’re still certainly worth a listen.
For further information and future events visit Tokyo Police Club’s website here.
Watch the video for Bambi here: