Live review: Decoy Jet at Proud, Camden, 23/1/15

If you’re a frequent weekend warrior at London’s music venues and indie club nights, you’ll most probably run into Decoy Jet. The four-piece from Enfield seem to be playing hipster hangouts across the capital every weekend, and as a result look more at home treading (and shredding) the stage than they do off it. For such a new, young band, they have fire-starting chemistry and commandeered the stage at Camden’s Proud like rocking out was all they knew. They look like the kind of band you will find soulfully jamming in their downtime and they probably spent most of their time in the school classroom coming up with chord progressions. At Proud, frontman Ted Joyce strolled on to the stage, Red Stripe in hand, and played so hard you’d be forgiven for thinking there’s nothing in his head but music. Along with Alan Thompson on bass, Connor Johnson on lead guitar and Jonny Bailey on drums, they filled the room with an immensely tight fusion of 60s rock‘n’roll and post-punk revival, full of murderous riffs and licks. ‘Action Reaction’ saw them hurl into grungy garage punk with supercharged guitars, and ‘Don’t Need You’ was fiercely cool and full of funk, but throughout you can hear the influences from Oasis, Peace, Miles Kane, Nirvana, The Hives and The Stone Roses to name just a few of the long list of bands that came to mind during the set. ‘19’ moved away from snarling Brit-rock to a more current, exotic sound, like when The Strokes went less New York and more Machu Picchu. ‘Right Place, Wrong Time’ had the thumping basslines and catchy blues-rock riffs of The Black Keys, and Decoy Jet ended with the equally catchy but twice-as-dirty single, ‘Georgia’. The standout song of the night, though, was the as-yet-untitled and unreleased seventh in the set, which was an instant addiction. So if you’re looking for me I'll probably be on a street corner trying to score a release of this so I can turn off the lights, sit on the floor and listen to it on repeat for days.
Words by Holly Warren. Read more of Holly’s writing here

Live Review: The New Finsbury, HOO HAs and FURS - Sept 4th 2014

Words By Nick Mee - Follow Nick on Twitter @nickjmee
So the stage has changed position, the sound-system has been upgraded, there’s a new dressing room, back bar, toilets and space for a few more punters to lively up themselves on the dancefloor. Essentially, The Finsbury has had a makeover, giving it a slicker aspect and spec yet, crucially, without sacrificing the low-lit easy ambience, welcoming lack of pretention and fabulous acoustics. A grand redesign that would have Kevin McCloud spewing superlatives over the closing credits. Were he a live music fan.
First to grace the new crescent-shaped stage on one of many unofficial relaunches this month were HOO HAs, whose blend of blues-rock and Britpop was driven by rough-and-ready lead licks, evoking the current surfeit of post-White Stripes duos but given greater range and scope by the simple factor of being fleshed-out by a four-piece. Their reach was extended further by each of the band weighing in on vocals, the backers layering laddish unison chanting to HOO HAs’ catchy tunes, bringing to mind bygone bands such as early Kaiser Chiefs and – mainly due to the Albarnesque quaver of frontman Jamie – Blur, most obviously during the earthy tale of a day by the Westway, ‘Carnival’. HOO HAs’ rootsier stateside flipside was best captured on closing number ‘Early Film Noir’, a ballsy riff-fest driven by the raucous chops of guitarist Mark, animating the band and indicating there’s plenty of stage-stealing rock’n’roll posturing in these fellas when the fires begin to burn.
Follow-up four-piece Furs’ poppy electro-soul was enhanced by sample triggers and loops, leading to a vibe that fell somewhere between Spectorish wall-of-sound and indie twee, waving in the general direction of Camera Obscura or a more proficient Alvvays. Vocalist Elle is aptly named due to her chic, Jane Birkin-like Sixties allure, and her compact band dished up sweet helpings of sugary psych-pop on tracks such as ‘Just Kids’. Furs have a look and a sound that never seems to go entirely out of vogue, and, although their set needs the odd tweak to maintain the standard, are clearly a band of some potential. The Finsbury, too, requires a few final nips and tucks before the overhaul is truly complete, but in the meantime it’s just a pleasure to be watching bands there again.
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