Live Reviews

The Indigo Sessions

10553688_330722980425780_2537301247402820552_oIf any of you reading this have ever come across WCT before, you’ll know that there’s nothing I love more than giving coverage to bands who don’t necessarily have the biggest following yet hold talent in abundance. That’s exactly why there was absolutely no chance of me missing the debut outing for The Indigo Sessions which helps give these sorts of artists a chance to perform in excellent venues in front of crowds who otherwise would be oblivious to their existence. Here’s what I though of their debut outing a couple of weeks back at The Hoxton Underbelly, along with an interview from one of my favourite young bands (who conveniently performed that night) Cavaliers;

Stepping into the Underbelly just after the first act of 4 had taken to the stage and finding the venue already flowing with young, excited and intrigued people was a sheer delight. Being the first on the bill at an event such as this usually means you’re stuck playing to your mates and a few incredibly keen attendees, often including myself. Jonny Breakwell showed off a wealth of creativity and didn’t seem daunted by the prospect of having the weight of anticipation on his shoulders for even a split second. With some expertly judged support joining him on stage at times, Breakwell had an aura of confidence surrounding him and his talent was clear for all to see. There was something inherently of the moment about his style yet a voice that contained a maturity and awareness well beyond his years made sure that the room were treated to a delightful opening to the evening.

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Bear Paw followed after a rather brief intermission, with a folk-infused style that added to a generally laid back approach that allowed me to sink into one of the wonderfully comfortable chairs and forget all my worries. There was a very much devil may care attitude emanating from the 4-piece outfit and it was probably the acoustic guitar that has lingered for the longest in my memory – though there may not have been a barrage of technical brilliance, each song was handled with great care and delicacy that highlighted the love that the band have for their craft.

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It was then the turn of Cavaliers to bring the masses to the dance floor, their upbeat brand of indie dominating the room from the first note until the last. Their ‘Gazella’ EP is an absolutely beauty and vocalist Ed Smith had a wonderful, barefooted charm that captured the attention of all those in attendance. I could go on about how marvellous they are for hours but there’s an interview coming up a little further down the page so I’ll let the boys speak for themselves.

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Finally, Nöme took to the stage to bring what was undoubtedly an experience that should be shared with the masses to a close. With influences including Blondie being incredibly obvious on the band’s sound, the room was instantly filled with exquisite sounds and delightful melodies. With a lead singer who was unafraid to leave the stage to whip up the crowd, the rest of the band powered away and delivered something that can only be described as a tour de force. ‘Nineties Child‘ is one of the catchiest songs I’ve come across in a long time and it’ll probably come as no surprise to any of you that have read this far down that there’ll be an interview with half the band going up tomorrow. If you love the 80s like I do, you’ll have to get as much Nöme in your life as you possibly can.

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So there could be no questioning the success of the debut outing for The Indigo Sessions and if you missed it, or if you were there, there’s no excuse good enough to keep you away from their next outing on 18th September. Go on, get some new music in you.

And as previously mentioned, here’s what happened when I caught up with the lads from Cavaliers in person;

After a frantic rush from my Shoreditch office early on a Wednesday evening to the heart of Hoxton Square I was greeted by Cavaliers, munching away on a pile of pizzas that would be the envy of any student. There was definitely a rather cavalier attitude about the band and their wits seemed just as impressive as their musical ability. Though the early stages of our conversation were somewhat sidetracked by a sexually adventurous canine, the boys talked fondly of their musical experiences to date and their musical knowledge. As bassist Eddie Baker informed me, the boys had been in “other bands that weren’t quite as good” and that they were friends well before the idea of Cavaliers had entered their minds.

Beginning as most bands do with a set mixed of covers and originals in winter 2012, drummer Chris Pott is happy to admit that guitarist James Langley is essentially the centrepiece of the band as they “base [their] music around the guitar”. Yet it is the lyrics from Ed Smith that capture the immediate attention of the listener, his off-beat ideas and limitless creativity help ensure that their songs are never in the least bit dull. Deeming some of his lyrics a bit shit, Eddie quickly steps in to identify his frontman as his own biggest critic. Isn’t that always the way? When quizzed about the gig, Chris is quick to question the umlaut in Nöme’s name and a surprisingly length debate ensues.

We went on to discuss their love of seventeenth century monarchs, including a discussion about their eerily convenient booking alongside King Charles recently which gave them “a good feeling” and Ed seemed disappointed for not having time to get his costume together. Whilst not entirely agreeing with comparisons to Foals and Vampire Weekend, there are no misconceptions when it comes to clubs both Two Door Cinema and Bombay Bicycle being influences – though Ed indicates a preference for the Tokyo Police variety. With previous reviews marking them as 2007 indie, the band are keen to stress that despite being influenced by these sounds they much prefer their own blend – there’s also a surprising mention for the Buena Vista Social Club.

I’m informed that their latest EP is named after the genus of a gazelle, we discuss some of the more ‘original’ song titles featured on the EP. When asked if the uniqueness of these titles changes listeners’ perceptions, Ed informs me that “naming things after lyrics from the song is boring” though Chris is quick to point out that the vocalist often claims that he will use the lyrics as inspiration before going off on an unexpected tangent – further adding to their originality and search engine dominance. With Tom Robinson already adding his name to a growing list on admirers, the band seem to be getting their music out to all the right places and providing an excellent example for their peers.

Dogged by their first track ‘The Hill‘ being their most popular effort, the band are happy to bask in the simplicity of the name and the number of fans it has drawn in. Having learnt about the world from Johnny Borrell, every journalist’s obstacle course, and kept a youthful exuberance about their spirit, the band seem ready to grow their audience and take on greater challenges – a support slot alongside Don Broco is soon on the cards as they hope to take things to that elusive next level. These boys should be destined for greatness, given their delightful attitudes it is definitely no more than they deserve.

Ciaran Steward

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