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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

These New Puritans at Oxford Art Factory


THESE NEW PURITANS
LOST VALENTINOS
TRAPS
Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst
12/08/08


Four-piece Traps opened the evening with a sound that, as has been the general trend with guitar bands for a while now, gave a nod to the eighties. Their songs were certainly well-crafted, but it’s hard to see them standing out from the plethora of bands already doing this kind of thing.

It feels like Lost Valentinos have been around forever. A couple of years ago there was a massive buzz about them, yet they have still to live up to their potential, and tonight’s display did little to suggest that they are finally going to set the world alight. Theirs was a decent enough set, but their apparent coolness - the Michael Stipe face-paint and head-to-toe black clothes, the way singer Nik Yiannikas only made his entrance well after the rest of the band were already playing - felt a little contrived. While their new material was quite interesting and sonic and showed a level of musical maturity, it remains to be seen whether it will be enough to give Lost Valentinos their second wind.


There was an inordinate amount of local band members and industry people in the crowd by the time These New Puritans made their entrance. While this meant that the atmosphere in the room was fairly subdued (the glitterati of the Sydney scene is way too cool to dance and have fun), the English quartet’s output was certainly given the attention and appreciation it deserved. With awesome drummer George Barnett carrying the beat, twin brother Jack (above) delivered lyrics with venom while looking resplendent in a shirt that looked like some kind of body armour from Arthurian times.

The band’s eclectic sound was equally dancey, punky and psychedelic and, with guitar, bass, synths and samplers, was as stirring as it was fascinating. However, while three of the band performed tracks like Elvis and Swords Of Truth with gusto, female member Sophie Sleigh-Johnson looked so bored behind the laptop that one wonders whether she was actually taking part in the gig at all or simply spending the duration checking her Facebook.

She was the only uninterested person in the room though, and with the new songs sounding wonderfully diverse, These New Puritans are clearly keen to continue pushing the boundaries of their sound, which suggests that this still fledgling band has exciting times ahead of them.

1 comment:

tasha said...

i think they are quite grimey live..

http://www.clashmusic.com/live-review/the-kills-live