Live Review

Times New Viking, XOYO, London

The band tear through tracks from all five of their albums.

It’s always worth getting to a show Upset the Rhythm are putting on early, as their choice of support acts is second to none. Chapter 24, the first band on tonight, are happy to prove that point. The slow build up of their opening number could end up anywhere but eventually breaks out into cheerful no wave chaos. Some of their tracks have something of Abe Vigoda about them and keep up a galloping pace. If you see that this band are playing near you, do not miss out.

Up next is Veronica Falls, a band that gets better every time I see them. With their perfect vintage getup and even more perfect songs they could quite possibly be the coolest looking and sounding band in London at the moment. Their ashen, jangly garage rock is as tight as can be and given the reaction of the crowd I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re headlining venues the size of XOYO within the next 12 months.

But tonight, Times New Viking are top of the bill. The band appears on stage, as always looking like they have just stepped off the tour bus, and crack open some whisky. They open with a handful of songs from their new album ‘Dancer Equired’, and while the record is their most polished work to date the results don’t quite translate live. Jared Philip’s guitar sounds lower in the mix than usual but Beth Murphy’s keyboard and vocals are still wonderfully disheveled.

I do wish they’d ramp up the Fender fuzz a little, although when Beth straps on a guitar for a few songs it provides a brief hit of added distortion. And those jumping around at front don’t seem to mind. One kid has even brought his own percussion section in the form of a tambourine, which awkwardly hits TNV’s de facto leader and drummer Adam Elliott in the face as it is flung on stage. Undeterred the band tear through tracks from all five of their albums including favourites such as ‘Natural Resources’, ‘Teenage Lust’ and ‘My Head’.

As they gear up for what they say is the final song, ‘Fuck Her Tears’, a guitar string snaps. An identical white Stratocaster appears from the side of the stage but it wasn’t meant to be, once again a string breaks as soon as the first chord is played. With only a few pauses between their short but perfectly formed lo-fi anthems, TNV aren’t a band to hang about, so with the parting words “Thanks. Let’s get drunk”, they’re gone.

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