It’s that time of the month again. The Finsbury’s walls are abuzz with anticipation ahead of HIDDEN HERD and Lost In The Manor‘s night of new blood, and this evening the north London watering hole is set to savour a three-strong lineup headed up by Bokito in what promises to be one of the best instalments yet.
First to grace the stage is the effortlessly chic Magique, who cloaks the atmospherically lit back room with his ethereal electro-pop. The newcomer’s razor-sharp set is ear-grabbing from the outset, combining pop-leaning hooks, gleaming ambience, glistening guitars and jittery beats that bear resemblance to the likes of Twin Shadow and M83. Though there are otherworldly future hits in abundance, closer ‘Real Love’ is the enigmatic tunesmith’s sound at its most instant and affecting; the fizzing finale masterfully climbs to an irresistible chorus that’ll rattle around the craniums of those in attendance for weeks.
Next up, Brighton-based collective Charlie and the Villas continue the good vibrations with their classic guitar-pop under the homely glow of the venue’s vivid lights. Spearheaded by singer-songwriter Charlie Thomas, who leads the group in the vein of James Mercer and The Shins, they air a batch of melody-rich musical nuggets that weave seamlessly between solo acoustic-folk, rock and indie pop. Timeless hooks are at the fore throughout: the singalong refrain at the core of ‘It Ain’t Easy’ rises like a phoenix from a backdrop of heart-warming harmonies, while the earworming moments of ‘I’ll Wonder Again’ are underpinned by a dreamy swirl of organ and jangling currents of guitar. It’s a wondrous jaunt from start to finish.
Then come party-starters Bokito. Having made quite the impact last time they topped the bill at one of our shows at The Finsbury, expectations are absurdly high – but the London-Irish five-piece don’t fail to deliver. As before, the band’s wild pop draws upon a smorgasbord of influences, landing somewhere between Afro-funk and tropical indie pop, and Moses Moorhouse is the opposite of milquetoast, gyrating and whipping his corkscrew locks to the band’s visceral sound. The tropical blast of debut single ‘Better At Getting Worse’ – with its carnivalesque organ, hip-rippling rhythm and ludicrously catchy chorus – is an undoubted highlight, but it’s a frenetic version of Crystal Waters’ 1991 house classic ‘Gypsy Woman (La da dee la da da)’ that sends the room into unprecedented meltdown. Once again vacating the stage to terrace-like chants of “Bokito! Bokito!”, the Lost In The Manor band’s emphatic momentum shows no signs of waning.