Grouplove at Electrowerkz
As the Wednesday outside turned grey and cooler, inside a sold-out Electrowerkz the anticipation of the long-awaited return to London of indie rockers Grouplove was palpable, manifest in hot energy and a buzz of excitement.
As the lights went down and the ethereal keyboard intro of I’m with You filled the room, it was clear from the roar that this was a crowd willing, ready and expectant, something the band used to their advantage as they blasted through a high octane, loud, polished, and undeniably catchy set. From summery Itchin’ on a Photograph, its clapping motifs destined for live performance, through to acid-trip memento Shark Attack and the serene, lazier beat of earlier number Gold Coast, the Californian rockers had the audience in the palm of their collective hand. New songs Traumatised and the gleefully catchy Welcome to Your Life worked well among the better known tracks, with an unlikely but perfectly-suited cover of Sabotage by the Beastie Boys playing brilliantly to Hannah Hooper’s sweetly robust vocal strengths. The crowd’s chant for “One more song” proved more than fruitful as an encore of real fan favourites, Borderlines and Aliens, Ways to Go and Colours, made it clear that everyone gathered at the venue, including the rockers, knew what they came for and got what they wanted.
In this modestly-sized room, Grouplove’s dense mix of sound trod the line of overwhelming, with little let-up throughout the set, owing in part to the nature of the band’s style and five-piece set-up but also to sheer volume, and while there were few stand-out moments per se, what did transpire was a steady, consistent stream of crowd-pleasing, satisfyingly catchy feel-good indie rock that was lapped up hungrily by a rapt audience.
With clear influences of pop, indie, and 90s grunge, Chris Zucconi’s voice at times evoking momentary flashbacks of a less gravelly Kurt Cobain, the band’s sound may not be groundbreaking, but it is catchy and serious fun, the ratio of serious to fun in a constant state of flux.
With original Grouplove fan Bella picked out of the hot, sweaty crowd by Hooper, the words of 2011 hit Tongue Tied felt all the more poignant: “I loved you then, I love you now,” cried the audience and it felt like, after that performance, they were in it for the long haul.
Photos: Nick Bennett
For further information about Grouplove and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Welcome to Your Life here: