Girls / Spectrals

Electric Ballroom, Camden on Wed 9th Nov 2011

Having released undoubtedly one of the best albums of the year in 'Father, Son, Holy Ghost', quite why Girls aren't already a huge deal is a real mystery. They're not short on critical acclaim, but the widespread attention they deserve has so far alluded to them. Based on tonight's sold out show, that could be all about to change.

The evening starts with Spectrals, who is charming enough but not one song lingers in the memory. There's really not a lot to talk about here, sadly. It's telling that as soon as he and his band leave the stage, the crowd swells, with the tiny Electric Ballroom seemingly ready to burst at the seams in anticipation for the main event.

A deafening roar greets Girls, as they shuffle on to the stage, which is coated in flowers. Having started out with the bedroom demos of frontman Christopher Owens, the band has now evolved into an 8-piece, with the addition of three backing singers to add a real intensity to their powerful songs. An opening double-salvo of 'Heartbreaker' and 'Laura' drives the crowd wild, with their screams almost as deafening as the band themselves. Despite being underappreciated in some circles, there's a real sense of warmth from the crowd towards Owens and co tonight.

It may be a cold November evening, but the feel-good summer vibe of 'Honey Bunny', is so sickeningly infectious. Combine that with the churning grunge of 'Alex', and it's quite plain that they've perfected a winning formula. Owens, who has seemingly been helping himself to cast offs from MC Hammer's wardrobe, may have a frail voice, but it acts as a perfect contrast to the climatic wall of sound that, alongside their gorgeous pop sensibility, has become the band's trademark.

And then comes 'Die'. Totally at odds with any of their previous work, it's a relentless furious beast, which quite easily sees them out-metal any band you'll see on a stage at Sonisphere for some time. The outrageous riff is sure to leave the crowd's ears ringing for days to come, but the best it still yet to come with the epic set closer 'Vomit'. Understandably the centrepiece for their wonderful new album, this epic, sprawling track really comes to life in a live setting. It's also the chance for their sassy backing singers to truly shine towards the end, one of whom takes centre stage for the thrilling climax. It's an absolute joy to witness and a moment of breathtaking beauty, which betrays the absurdity of the song title.

Having exited the stage, Owens then returns alone for the heartfelt and contemplative 'Jamie Marie'. The full band then join him for a glorious rendition of 'Hellhole Ratrace', a twin to the aforementioned 'Vomit', as Owens' lyrics of heartbreak and loneliness are drowned out by a thrilling, euphoric marriage of reverb and feeback. After a grand finale of 'Morning Light', the band take their final bow to an ecstatic crowd. If you're not in on the secret yet, get on board now. Girls are a band to truly love; and based on tonight's performance, few could argue with the claim that they are the best live band around.

article by: Craig Jones

published: 10/11/2011 16:33


sorry, we currently have no gigs listed for this act.

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