New Young Pony Club / Teeth / Is Tropical

Academy 2, Newcastle upon Tyne on Thu 25th Mar 2010

I have to admit I was running a little bit late and as I entered the Academy 2, I was greeted by a tiny, overexcited, front-woman in the middle of the dance floor attempting to create some sort of mosh-pit between 2 or 3 members of the audience.

This was interesting as Teeth, describe their sound as experimental, punk, club and have nothing 'moshy' about them. Interestingly Livewire were playing downstairs and I'm sure these sorts of antics may have been more appreciated there. However, I found myself enjoying this American trio, they are energetic and fun. As well as their crazy little singer, the cool, tall, man dancing with his Mac laptop and the passionate drummer, put on an exciting performance to the crowd of around 20 who seemed really quite enticed.

The second support of the evening was from Is Tropical. I initially thought they were named Is Tropica, as their stage visuals were slightly lopsided and the projector was cutting off the 'L' in their name. Again, I liked this trio, which you don't usually expect to find from both supporting acts. The boys came out with balaclavas over their mouths like gangsters, but their sound was definitely not gangster. Their songs have melodic and catchy chorusÂ’ teamed with their dark, mysterious stage presence and fuzzy stage visuals they are enchanting to watch. Both the acts are on New Young Pony Club's UK tour and Is Tropical are set to play a few shows with The Big Pink and Good Shoes so are maybe one to watch.

This was my first New Young Pony Club gig and I thought it was going to be busier but the room was still only half full by the time the band came on. Singer Tahita Bulmer and her famous, half shaven, blonde mane, walked on stage and greeted the crowd by announcing "We are still New Young Pony Club!" - maybe referring to the departure of former bass player, Igor Volk or that their last album and tour was back in 2008, who knows.

They opened their set with their new single 'Chaos' from their new album 'The Optimist'. The new album is self-released, self-produced and self-funded after they left their label, Modular in 2008. The set was a mixture between the new and debut album 'Fantastic Playhouse'.

Even though the venue was only half full, at least it was half full of people enjoying themselves, and the glamorous front-women seemed to appreciate this, "I'm really pleased you are all here you know."

Tahita's cool, grungy dancing teamed with their gritty-pop sound had the majority of the crowd dancing, and properly dancing, through some of their new songs such as 'The Optimist' and 'Lost a Girl'.

Enthusiastic moves came from the support, Teeth who at one point managed to bump into me and spill some of my drink. The band also seemed to value the importance of 'giving it back to the fans', playing the venue 4 times Tahita dedicated 'Tight Fit' to "Pip and company, who come every single time!"

The set highlight came in the form of the bands 2006 hit 'Ice Cream' which before kicking in was dedicated "to all the cool people at the back" which was in fact where me and my friend were stood like pretentious music journalists. Not so cool then.

The good-looking girl band and guitarist were tight and impressive. Tahita's 80's tone, backed with the drummer and keyboard player's strong harmonies makes them very much an electro-punk, girl gang, and their new album has seemed to shift them away from the nu-wave pigeonhole they were shot in, back in 2007. The last song of the evening before their encore was 2006's 'The Bomb' and 'Oh Cherie' from the new album before finishing with 'The Get Go'.

New Young Pony Club are a band who genuinely seem to enjoy what they do. Sometimes you find Tahita staring into the crowd to ensure you are watching her, which really isn't necessary as you cant help but not. At one stage she had the full mike stand in the crowd and the singer seems to thrive on the crowds involvement.

When you watch Tahita throwing her locks around in comparison to the rest of the ponies who seem to just play, it completely works, she's bold, charismatic and really is the anchor of the band. She finished by thanking the crowd for being amazing, and I'm sure they are set to have an amazing comeback.

Set List:
Get Lucky
The Optimist
Lost a Girl
Ice Cream
Tight Fit
We Want To
The Bomb
Oh Cherie
The Get Go

article by: Sarah Fallowfield

published: 29/03/2010 16:01


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