25.07.17 – Sebright Arms, London
I always judged The Wall as depressing, turgid shit. And it still is, though now my general life outlook has stooped to a similar level and – having listened again recently – the washing acceptance is smugly satisfying. Optimistic teenage me was wrong; the world is a politically and socially devastating place; Roger was right.
It’s nice, then, that you can stand in a basement and see a band like Hobby Club.
Musically you’re getting Mac Demarco meets Kate Bush via The Smiths (and the demo function of an 80s Casio keyboard); think Her’s, but effortlessly cooler and without any high fidelity. Between songs, mic-less guitarist Joe communicates something, mumbling, gesticulating, shouting, and singer Beth translates. It’s initially a bit weird (bordering on horrendously awkward) but three songs in and it’s descended into an argument about the chief exports different Black Country towns. By now the audience is gladly shouting along.
The surreal notion of a gig is exposed: I’m actually having fun.
Pontins cabaret this isn’t. For all the tuning repartee, their songs are seriously strong. Beth’s vocal glides cooly above a thread of jangly chords, melting seamlessly with pre-recorded harmonies on the tape. At times, they rise above the track, thrusting to a peak and staying there, before ebbing back down for Joe’s guitar to take lead; on “Bicycle” Beth chimes bright above Joe’s modulating chords, and on “Bedroom” the two become one with rhythmic consonance. Their cover of “Don’t Worry Baby” by The Beach Boys is the icing on the cake, and testament in how well it sits with their own material.
As it goes, another writer on KM’s staff featured Hobby Club’s single ‘Bedroom‘ as TOTD earlier this year… Think it goes without saying the KM team is look forward to hearing their next.
Upcoming gig: Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham – 13th August
Written by Nick GK