Zipper Club at the Shacklewell Arms
Fashions tend to go in cycles, and even for this child of the 90s, the recent revival of that navel-gazing decade on the small circuit was becoming tiresome. However, bucking that trend in the most refreshing manner comes Zipper Club.
The band arrived on stage with the female lead Lissy Trullie giving off the aura of the lovechild of Ziggy Stardust and Bjork, sprinkled with magic dust, and from the opening of their first song, Save the Night, it was clear we were watching someone who has a certain something.
Zipper Club is the brainchild of main guitarist Mason James from Cerebral Ballzy. His surprisingly nonchalant yet committed, grunge-esque approach seems to be the perfect foil to Trullie’s more obviously passionate, animated, new wave-tinged delivery. It’s a combination that on paper shouldn’t work but, like champagne and a kebab, for some reason it just does. By the time the California-based three-piece had reached Tick Tock – once the rather repetitive opening motif of the title had given way to the main body of the track – the group had really reached full flow.
Due to the space of the venue, drummer Damar Davis was well hidden but luckily the driving nature of his playing meant he was forever present. Even when Trullie put down the bass and picked up a guitar its sound wasn’t missed thanks to the hard thumping of Davis’s bass pedal.
“This is our first time in London,” James declared, “our first time playing songs.” With a glint in the eye he asked the willing yet not entirely awake crowd: “You want it to be the first for anything else?”. They then, for the first time in public, played Goodnight and though the number took a while to get going, once the band hit the “I can’t remember when” refrain they were really flying.
After performing their final track, Regrets. the group declared it had been a pleasure – but without conviction. At this point it seemed the band knew that they didn’t have the crowd that they deserved. In the right venue and with a more responsive audience this would have been a gig to savour. Within the existing music scene’s bubble of 90s head-bobbing, fringe-flicking nostalgia, Zipper Club offers an impressive and much-needed alternative.
Photos: Mike Garnell
For further information about Zipper Club and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Going the Distance here: