Words: Ilona Dobi | Photos: Matthew Kiss
I had the opportunity of seeing three very different bands at The Notting Hill Arts Club, It was my first time visiting the small bum humble venue. The headliner’s, Sleeptalking’s name was everywhere, T-shirts, posters and even the drum kit. As the crowd started to gather the band members were getting ready in front of us due to the lack of a backstage.
Shortly before 9 o’clock a band called The Stumble and Shake hit the floor. Their upbeat songs warmed the crowd, playing about six songs including a cover of Britney’s ‘Toxic’. I found their style unique, their music was a blend of funky, folk, reggae and other styles, not easy to pinpoint. Altogether their set was a fun and energetic with the only downside being the length of the performance, which should change in the future if they continue like this.
Following shortly after was The Bloom, checking them out the day before I liked their music and I was curious about their performance. Their music is serious indie rock with catchy melodies and interesting lyrics, certainly something that is destined for radio play. When the setlist started with the heavy sounding ‘The River’, they already had fans dancing wildly in the front row. The band members hardly ever moved though due to the stage being so small, the bass player was unfortunately hidden in the right corner. They played a few songs I haven’t heard, including ‘Obvious’ which I think has a potential to be a hit. Luke (frontman) kept looking at the crowd making eye contact with everyone in the crowd, he even mentioned giving free cds for the dancing people. Next they played their most known song ‘How It Starts’ from the EP. Their new guitarist, Ed did seem to catch the vibe of the band, focusing on his guitar or looking up smiling. Then came ‘In The Sky’, an instant favourite (very catchy!) followed by ‘She Said’ which was full of energy being one of their best. Their solid performance ended with ‘Hide It Away’, rocking out for the last time with an impressive ending.
The headlining band’s members were already showing up in the crowd before their performance, making sure that we will remember their faces as well along with their name. Sleeptalking is the kind of band that you will make a note of, whether you like them or not. London was the last stop from their 2017 tour, so the crowd was obviously huge, especially for the venue. The band was ready to play, musicians appeared dressed up in unusual clothing looking like rock stars from the past, supporting the music that they’re playing which is heavily influenced by bands from the 70s and 80s. Their singer, Tom Nosek was a confident frontman with a powerful voice, he had the moves and the look. The other members including Freddie Strange (guitar), Rhys Friery (keys), Dan O’Conell (bass), Jack Hamilton (drums) were all very characteristic. Everyone in the band had crazy energy, they passed it onto the audience and the whole place was jumping.
They played their already known songs like ‘Professional Dreamer’ and ‘All Hope is Lost, Lazy Bones’. They played quite a few songs, most of them on the heavy side of rock, and as soon as the show was about to end, the crowd was chanting “One more song”. They couldn’t resist, so they took a slower song that created a special vibe in the air. Tom walked into the audience untangling his mic and asked all of us to sit down. Somebody shouted “This is so cute!”. So we were listening to this emotional song, touched by this brief moment until the ending that made us jump up again, while they were rocking their instruments for the last time. I personally don’t listen to music like Sleeptalking, but I thought performance was great and despite their age they sounded like they had=ve found harmony in a short time.
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