As I made my way around Shepherd's Bush Green, en route to Bush Hall, it was throwing it down. It'd been raining for what seemed like all day and I bemoaned another typically damp and cold February. On arrival at the venue it was clear that the inclement weather had dampened the clothes but not the spirits of those who'd braved the journey out.
Firstly, a quick sentence or two about our four support acts of the night. Our Lost Infantry's young, fiery, guitar-driven indie follows in the footsteps of the likes of We Were Promised Jetpacks. They're not quite there yet but they're not that far away either. Next, Bright Spark Destroyer took to the stage. It's an odd thing to say that a band can be overtly nice but that's what happened here. Drawing influence from the late Radiohead should be a good thing but, with wide-eyes and fixed smiles, what could be interesting on record falls a little short of the mark live.
Following were The Gadsdens . During their set my girlfriend summed them up pretty well: "They're like Maroon 5, who are obviously shit. But, like Maroon 5, there's also something undeniably catchy about them."
After Our Lost Infantry's gaggle of fans/friends (easily the largest of the night -- for some reason) vacated the area in front of the stage for either the bar or the door it was the turn of A Genuine Freakshow. More fool those who, having fulfilled mates' duties, decided to leave.
As a slight, bespeckled Timothy Sutcliffe and co. took to the stage they held an intangible confidence that marked them out tonight's first 'proper' band. Their pacy, purposeful set was full of energy, menace and confidence. With a line-up including violin, cello and trumpet -- alongside the staple guitar, drums, bass -- it's refreshing to see that takes these extra instruments further than just atmospheric padding -- here they often lead melody with guitars left to create beds of distortion, atmosphere or tremolo picked chaos. When you Sutcliffe's vocals to the mix -- which err on the acrobatic -- the band's sound brings to mind the likes of Grammatics or Mew.
Tonight's performance is solid, as is the material. With a tour currently underway it should only be a matter of time before A Genuine Freakshow fly above the radar.
If you head over to A Genuine Freakshow's MySpace you can download a four-track EP for free.