Otherkin at the Lock Tavern
In the tiny upstairs room of Chalk Farm’s Lock Tavern, Otherkin are kicking off their UK tour. Hailing from Dublin, the four-piece are everything that is good about rock’n’roll – they have the swagger, the fun-loving nature, the guitar-driven songbook and trendy new wave haircuts to match. The are promoting new single Bad Advice and as they come on to the sound of a World War II air raid siren, it is clear that they mean business.
The crowd cheers them onto the stage and doesn’t stop for pretty much the entire set. The group’s song Ay Ay is indicative of their mission: to write tunes that everyone can be a part of and sing along to. Their lyrics stating “career acts and bands need not apply” and that one might easily “become some meat for the radio” show their credentials as an outfit that want to shake up the scene – and well they might. Lead singer Luke Reilly jumps off stage into the audience multiple times, holding the mic aloft and urging everyone to sing along with him, and they do.
Other standout track, Yeah, I Know, is played with aplomb, as Reilly and the band literally go for it like their lives depend on it. New single Bad Advice is a slice of classic punk, with a danceable indie pop drumbeat and in a room so small the wall of sound guitars come into their own. One can hear the melange of noughties indie rock groups inhabit Otherkin’s music but their Dublin punk ethos is refreshing and infectious.
Yet sometimes their penchant for driving guitars and punch the air choruses mars what is a very nuanced and talented sound. Guitar bands are allowed to get away with a certain amount of aggro for aggro’s sake but it is important to make sure it does not become the central point of the performance. The rawness is refreshing, but sometimes the songs are so engulfed by their own noise that they are difficult to make out.
In fairness, the four-piece have clearly turned this weakness into a strength; last night’s audience were hooked and only demanded more. Otherkin could become the vanguard for the next wave of rock’n’roll bands, but they many need to work on getting the balance right first.
Photos: Sherry Li
For further information about Otherkin and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Ay Ay here:
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