By Luigi Sibona
There is no more iconic a London venue for an indie record launch than Rough Trade East. Slap bang in the middle of hipster Mecca, Brick Lane, you’d be hard pressed to find an established act that hasn’t smashed out at least a quickie set there. Last week saw the launch of Post Exotic, the first LP from “pop flower punk” duo (now there’s a line to sick in your craw) Bosco Rogers.
Opening the set, as they do the album, with the swinging ‘Googoo’, the band showcase their penchant for 60s style surfer hooks while adding a more squidgy garage band sound. Think the Allah-Las meets The White Stripes. There’s a lot to be said for a band with a strong enough pop sensibility that you feel instantly familiar with their set like you’d had their back catalogue on loop for weeks and these guys nail it.
Though the condensed set worked well as a calling card for great things to come, with a band such as Bosco Rogers, you need a livelier platform. They certainly went down well with the crowd but Rough Trade being what it is – a pimped out record shop – there wasn’t the active band/audience dialogue you’d find at a summer festival or curated underground gig. With sure-fire hits like ‘The Middle’ (no, not a Jimmy Eat World cover) merely getting the audience teetering on the edge of full-body frivolities, it’s a shame the crowd didn’t share the same dynamism that the band brought to the table.
They ended their set on wicked form with the new single from Post Exotic, ‘True Romance’. It’s a rousing power pop anthem that has you tapping your foot from the word go and chanting along by the end. Delivered live, the band layer in the distortion and looping hooks, capturing a vitality that far surpasses the studio version.
After the gig, Clunk had a chat with Barth and Del, the co-writers and frontmen of Bosco Rogers, where they professed their love of Guided By Voices and the surf swing stylings that course through all their tracks. With influences as diverse as The Dandy Warhols, The B52s through to The Black Lips, Bosco Rogers are a music-literate, witty band to keep and eye on before everyone’s are fixed on them.