Tonight is a first. After over a year of waxing lyrical about our new band finds, this evening heralds Hidden Herd‘s live show debut in collaboration with label Lost In The Manor. Each of the ace new acts who appear in North London have graced this site since its inception back in 2015, and amid the homely purplish gleam of The Finsbury‘s cosy back room all three bring their very own spin on earworming guitar pop.
First, Dance à la Plage air a scintillating set of vivid funk rock that fidgets like the intense gold, red and blue disco lights that hang above them. The Oxford quartet’s bright-hued sound is befitting of the riot of colour, with opener ‘Hope’ recalling the unshakeable melodicism of chart-dwellers Walk the Moon and Two Door Cinema Club. Closer ‘2 2 2’ is their stint’s culminating moment though, and the excitement of the band is palpable as they deliver its The 1975-ish chorus to a crowd cram full of Cheshire cat grins.
At the scruffier end of the spectrum are M O S E S, whose ragamuffin rock lacks the same sheen but oozes just as much charm. Like fellow newcomers Tibet, who also revel in rock ‘n’ roll at its most wild and untamed, the four-strong band from The Big Smoke are already masters of meaty riffs and mammoth singalongs, and in their mop-haired and wiry frontman they have a charismatic focal point of Jagger-esque proportions. On gilt-edged moment ‘Cause You Got Me’, he looms out of the darkness on the brink of the stage with beads of sweat on his top lip, rallying the room behind the tune’s gloriously emphatic refrain.
Tie-dye-clad headliners INDIGO CHILD are more refined performers, but are a no less thrilling prospect in the flesh. The capital-based band play a slew of nuanced psych-rock concoctions, each overspilling with labyrinthine licks, soft-focus falsetto and swells of Tame Impala-ish fuzz. ‘Feel Good Summer Song’ sounds like one of Kevin Parker & Co’s spaced-out soundscapes if it went for a surf, and whopping finale ‘Shangri La’ struts like you’d imagine a collaboration between The Flaming Lips and UMO would. At its dreamy climax, the air dims with smoke and the Londoners carefully build its cooing hook to a majestic and hallucinogenic highpoint before a sweaty celebratory embrace. It’s a conclusion that caps off the night; one of exhilarating introductions, and the first of many.