Words by Harvey Williams-Fairley | Photography by Jake Lewis
Last night, patrons of the Old Blue Last were graced with the second instalment of the beautifully weird and wonderful Saxon Zine x Cool Brother residency. Round two of the showcase introduced the audience to the amazing sounds of; Malady, Circe, Two Tribes and Ugly. I have been in attendance of all the nights to date, witnessing the chaos as it unfolds and trust us me the talent on the bill are a spectacle to behold. So forget about Game of Thrones, come shake your booty and sink some FREE beer! You have no excuse.
First onto the stage was the cute and geeky four-piece indie band Malady, who are composed of Percy on rhythm guitar and vocals, Charlie on lead guitar and keys, Fi on bass and Ertan on drums. Malady’s sound threw me right back to my days at college, where I would binge on classic indie bangers. They are producing fresh and youthful tunes, that sounds like all of Bloc Party singing any amazing song by The Pixies at a karaoke party hosted by The Smashing Pumpkins. Each member of the band brings their own identity to the stage which resonates through their performance. Percy is a true frontman. He’s cheeky, he’s sweet and he flirts with the crowd at any opportunity and in between songs he sings R’n’B classics off mic. Charlie the lead guitarist plays ferociously whilst also hitting keys simultaneously. Fi, who was cooly owning her own space throughout the set, reminded me of Kim Deal of The Pixies. Her bass lines were fat, chunky and worked harmoniously with the drums. Which brings me onto Ertan, the human dynamo, drumming topless bathed in pink stage lighting and sweating profusely as he shredded the drum kit. Get to see Malady asap. Prepare to dance and potentially be gifted some of Percy’s clothes, as he loves to throw his wears into the crowd.
Next Up, the audience was enlightened with the shoegaze dream pop queen Alexa Povey, AKA Circe. Circe reminded somewhat of a blonde Poison Ivy crossed with The Statue of Liberty, whose sound could be compared to the lustful moans of an orgy between Fever Ray, Bjork, Lana Del Ray, Beth Gibbons and Lady Gaga. Circe’s music reminded me of almost of Scandinavian rock and her voice could be compared to that of Rakel Mjöll of Dream Wife. Alexa leads her audience through her songs as though she was some kind of iowaska shaman, her presence was that of a manic pixie dream girl. Watching Circe was definitely an epic experience and I urge anyone to dip their toe in the glittery waters of Alexa’s musical pool.
The third band to take the stage were Two Tribes and they were utterly phenomenal. As I walked from the smoking area back into the bar I was instantly reminded of the song ‘American Dream’ by Jakatta, but it sounded as though it was being performed by War Paint whilst being mixed with ‘Lebanese Blonde’ by Thievery Corporation. A bassist, drummer, guitarist/lead vocalist and keyboardist/backing vocalist make up the band. Mark my words Two Tribes are soon to be a breakthrough artist, their performance was amazing and their dance moves even better. The lead guitarist and singer reminded me of an electro version of Jon Snow. The keyboardist had moves like Jagger and the drummer was so tech it hurt. Two Tribes sound and perform like a band that should be on a festival stage, it is with no doubt you’re going to be hearing a lot of the this festival season.
Last but not least, the bang UGLY took to the stage and worked the graveyard shift. Fresh from the creche but wearing the clothes of their parents, the boys of the band wielded their vintage guitars and laid down some aggressive Libertines/Dirty Pretty Things sounding riffs. At one point their lead guitarist played the slide guitar with a bottle of poppers. Strangely, at times, this band sounded like a Spanish flamenco version of The Cramps. These boys are not to be missed!
The next instalment of the Saxon Zine x Cool Brother showcase is being held on the 23rd of November. So why not prolong your bank holiday weekend hangover and come and join the gang for one last night of sick tunes and naughty debauchery… see you there!
By Jake Lewis