Live Review

Girl Band, The Old Blue Last, London

Flights take off, herds stampede, Girl Band just get louder.


Photo: Emma Swann

Such nice jumpers for such a nasty band. Girl Band are like the narrator in a detective novel that turns out to be the one whodunit. They arrive politely. Well intentioned it might seem, but it doesn’t exactly prepare anyone for what’s about to come next.

The Irish troupe throw their dinner party demeanour to one side. They become demonic. Responding in tandem, crowds beckon them in, asking for more noise, more raw industrial stabs, an even greater level of intensity. It’s hard to keep up.

In sum, Girl Band are essentially these shores’ answer to HEALTH’s pained, psychotic frenzies and Liars’ daring invention. They’re that good. ‘Lawman”s repeated, increasingly sarcastic lyric ‘everything about it was contagious’ couldn’t be any more fitting. Flights take off, herds stampede, Girl Band just get louder.

Pacing their way through new songs, they eventually land headfirst on ‘Why They Hide Their Bodies Under My Garage’; an unlikely, disarming cover of Blawan that spans nine minutes, each second more intense than the one before. Hearts beat out of chests, eyes are locked on these apparently polite, quiet looking Irish twenty-somethings. At times it’s like watching James Murphy living out a more extreme version of LCD, a realisation of punk and hardcore that Bowie references wouldn’t do justice.

Diving into ‘Lawman’, it suddenly dawns that no way - not a hope in hell - are Girl Band going to stand still. They’ll probably never play the Old Blue again. Intensity on this scale deserves to drop jaws on a mass scale. It’s designed to melt academies, flood arenas. If they turned up looking like they were prepared to start a sermon, Girl Band depart having converted everyone to their evil.

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