Baby Strange at Camden Barfly
Influences fly off the tongue when talking about Baby Strange. The Clash’s jangling reverb guitars and choral shouts mix with the raw power of early The Stooges and the speed and intensity of Ramones. In fact, when the Glaswegian trio kick into a song like Friend at Camden’s Barfly it’s easy to see the band’s punk rock credentials and that they’ve certainly been listening to the right people.
Establishing themselves from their first few shows in 2012 as ones to watch in coming years, their audience is already a dedicated one, despite the band keeping conversation to a minimum. Their opening track Violate Me has the crowd immediately enraptured, mimicking the low tones of Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster and giving a glimpse of the darkness the trio attempt to muster over the next 40 minutes.
New single Distance Yourself makes attempts at outward anger (“they try to take our life/they try to take our fun”) but ends up a little unfocused, while a fun cover of Peter, Bjorn & John works just as well after being sufficiently corrupted by the band.
Musically, Baby Strange provide exactly what you’d expect from a three-piece punk act: distorted guitars and rhythmic bass lines don’t allow for that much variety between songs, but their stripped-back track composition is energetic and compelling.
Baby Strange do an excellent job of taking hallmarks of the punk genre, updating them and making them persuasive, but it’s difficult not to get the feeling, as the group perform under a sheet with their name crudely sprayed on it, that Baby Strange need to mature a little more before they can reach their full potential. Early threats to be the next big thing are still 50-50 at this stage, but when performing they’re a truly interesting prospect.
Joe Manners Lewis
Photos: Joe Manners Lewis
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Watch the video for Pure Evil here: