Live Review Sunflower Bean, Scala, London 15th September 2016

They’re more rough, raw and a hundred times louder than they ever sound on record.

With a sound that slots somewhere between 90s grunge and shoegazey indie, Sunflower Bean’s name may sound suited to a band making mellow music for yet mellower crowds, but their live show confirms the New York City three-piece as anything but. On stage, they’re more rough, raw and a hundred times louder than they ever sound on record, to the delight of fans who delve in and out of mosh pits throughout their Scala set.

Bassist / vocalist Julia Cummings’ voice is an enigma, with the unique ability to switch from near-angelic falsetto to furious scream in an instant. A few songs in, her energy getting the better of her, she makes a dive for the crowd, held aloft by a sea of hands for mere seconds before she falls. “We tried!” she laughs, climbing back on-stage, but she’s already started a chain-reaction. From then on out, whenever their songs break down into extended, sprawling guitar solos (especially in heavier numbers like ‘Wall Watcher’ and ‘I Was Home’), the crowd is a sea of copycat crowdsurfers.

There’s an eager audience ready and waiting for Sunflower Bean in London - their “biggest headline show yet!”, as Julia exclaims as the show draws to a triumphant close - and tonight they prove why.

Sunflower Bean, Scala, London Sunflower Bean, Scala, London

Photos: Poppy Marriott

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