What does a remix of ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’, a basement in East London and a cardboard Fearne Cotton face mask have in common? A fast rising trio named Strong Asian Mothers. Taking to the Kamio stage for their headline show clad in luminous pink attire, there is a notable sense of expectation in the sweltering room. Launching into a barrage of electro, their opening track is a ground shaking introduction to their genre fluid style and sound. As the blisteringly bright stage lights cut, the mood changes as synth extraordinaire Amer Chadha-Patel appears to have serious technical issues.
Fortunately the screen lifts minutes later and thankfully the charismatic band are able to return invigorated with a frankly absurd trip hop remix of a Queen classic before dipping into their equally bizarre solo material. Four tracks in and comparisons to contemporaries are near impossible, for a moment they are obliterating synth like pop rockers Bastille, the next growling hip hop verse like a sensual Mike Skinner. This frankly fearless approach to genre is captivating to watch, reminiscent to the style of indie sensations including Glass Animals and Jagwar Ma, acts who globally dominate on the strength of their individuality.
Although the sound is not pitch perfect throughout, Animal EP tracks including ‘Sober’ and its namesake sound monstrous when confined to the sweaty basement, urging for the space of larger future stages the band are destined to frequent. The trio’s cover of En Vogue’s ‘Don’t Let Go’ is inspired and provokes slow jams and singalong from the enthused crowds, who are made only more enthusiastic by the masterful stage #banter of Amer and Kalim. Through the lighting, the elaborate stage décor and dizzying pace of the show, the song structure and delivery of finale ‘The More That I’ leaves the strongest impression. There is a sense of genuine, fizzying excitement onstage from this band which is refreshing and endearing. At certain times focus would create more consistency and proficiency to their performance, the unnecessary dinosaur costume and applause signs feel like well-thought-out jokes with sloppy punchlines.
Overall Strong Asian Mothers are tonnes of fun and genuinely exciting to watch perform. Their personalities coupled with an incredible collective musicianship and a willingness to take musical risks feels like a golden combination.
Strong Asian Mothers play Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar as part of The Great Escape Festival in Brighton on May 19th. You can find a breakdown of all ticket types for The Great Escape 2017 listed on this page.