Bright Young People at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen
Topping the bill at a showcase for 25 Hour Convenience Store (the record label headed by Gary Powell of The Libertines), Bright Young People are tasked with heating up a chilly late summer evening in the intimate back room of Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen. From the moment opener Solitude explodes from the stage, the pace and precedent is set for a show that fulfils that remit by burning fast and bright with high-octane energy.
Cut from the Welsh rockers’ debut EP Sunshine Town, Solitude exemplifies the essence of the band. Jack Lewis Jones (bass) and Casey Ingram (drums) lay down a rapid, swaggering groove, which forms a granite foundation for Lee Dawson’s sonic assault – using guitar and vocals as heavy weapons – filling every inch of the venue with sound.
That sound is impressively full-bodied for a three piece. Dawson, assisted by melodic runs from Jones’ bass, is blessed with the skill to deftly fire dizzying solos out from among the dark, expansive drone of his rhythm work, all distorted to grungy psychedelic effect. Dawson’s voice, too, is versatile and powerful. His register maintains clarity as it swoops down from a raw Caleb Followill-esque howl to a sardonic sneer akin to Mark E Smith, often within a single song (such as standout Losing Face, on which he warns: “When you got no soul, you’re gonna sink into the bad times.”)
Though it’s a battle tactic that undeniably works, the unrelentingly thunderous attack is also one that is adhered to strictly and at the expense of much in the way of variety. Such concerns could become an issue once the band’s set expands beyond the blistering 40 minutes showcased here; for the time being, those who like their garage rock to rattle their chest cavities as well as their eardrums would do well to catch Bright Young People, should the opportunity ever arise.
Photos: Aleksandra Rozanska
For further information about Bright Young People and future events visit here.