Oscar wipes away January blues with bright-eyed Hello 2015 set

Black Honey, Fossa and Chloe Black complete a brilliantly varied new music showcase at The Old Blue Last.

School’s in, January Blues rule the roost, but there’s hope yet in 2015. Oscar, and his brand of bright-faced pop, welcomes in the ‘Daffodil Days’, the kind of refreshing kick in the teeth this year requires. Headlining the third of four new music showcases to ease punters into the next twelve months, the North Londoner’s set is a wide-grinning, beaming conclusion to the most varied ‘Hello 2015’ showcase so far.

Last week, harsh, uncompromising grunge was the overriding flavour. Anyone entering The Old Blue Last with Bloody Knees and Crows on the bill couldn’t have been expecting a soft ride. Tonight it’s different, with Oscar’s set being preceded by the intimate, direct pop of Chloe Black, the hushed experimentalism of Fossa and the harsh system jolt of Brighton’s Black Honey.

A previously anonymous entity - they sent dodgy messages to people on WhatsApp for a few months, without revealing identities - Black Honey’s live presence couldn’t be more direct. It’s led by Izzy B Phillips, who screams through guitar sections that’ve come straight out a Tarantino flick. She’ll eyeball the crowd and burst into a fit of energy within a split-second, everything around her exacting the kind of chaos this seaside bunch seem intent on achieving. It’s not the final package, but there’s every reason to believe that, given a few months, Black Honey could be one of the country’s most important new bands. No overstatement. They give hints of it tonight, and then some.

Fossa’s trajectory is less pointed. These four seem more content to swerve and dance in their own perfectly muted space, where floaty recordings sink in and out of trace. Wild Beasts comparisons that launch their early songs ‘Five Days’ and ‘Sea of Trees’ are even more clear on stage, frontman Louis controlling a sea of calm that’s built with galloping, plucked acoustics and warm synth parts. The complete contrast to Black Honey, and everything that follows.

It’s a bold move on Chloe Black’s part to take to one of her first live shows - in a chatty, excitable venue - with nothing but a cape and a piano. But throughout her set, which ends with a woozy Kanye cover, she stands out as a special talent. Recent single ’27 Club’ is stripped back with the help of iPad-led drum patterns and chiming, barely-used keys. Ultimately it’s all about the voice, one that soars beyond all the initial hype.

Oscar Scheller’s set - closing the night - seems to bring together aspects of everything that’s preceded. He has the pop nous of Chloe Black, the woozy quality of Fossa and the hard-hitting zing of Black Honey. Newly signed to Wichita, there’s a celebratory mood in the air, one that enhances the headliner’s quick-witted, charming pop. Drum patterns and bright singsongs define the set, which peaks at the masterful, instant fix ‘Sometimes’.

Hello 2015 concludes at London’s Old Blue Last on 27th January with Girl Band, Demob Happy, Ex’s and Bruising.

Photos: Carolina Faruolo

Tags: News, Hello 2015

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