It’s a Friday night in North London and Tufnell Park’s Dome is playing host to band of the moment, Pretty Vicious. The Welsh four piece have been causing quite a stir since forming last year. Their urgent and energetic sound is a trait which has earnt them a list of accolades, including widespread national radio play and sessions at Maida Vale Studios in London for both Huw Stephens and Annie Mac.
After a string of festival appearances over summer – Isle of Wight Festival, Reading & Leeds, Japan’s Summer Sonic and a coveted headline slot on the BBC Introducing stage at Glastonbury, to name a few – London is the second date on a mini-tour around the UK.
Scanning around the room it’s clear the see the quartet have a varied fan base. Younger fans assume prime position and wait patiently at the front of the stage whilst an older demographic prop up the bar and dot themselves around the rest of the room.
As the Sex Pistols’ Pretty Vacant fades out from the venue’s speakers the band walk on stage and start playing. Opening with It’s Always There and scowling: “love me till you bleed, give me everything I ever need” the Merthyr Tydfil natives are brilliantly brazen and boisterous.
After thrashing their way through a collection of tracks, current single National Plastics receives a rapturous reception inside The Dome. A mosh pit ensues as lead singer Brad Griffiths howls “moping around, the time will come when you will see, that hanging about don’t bring no opportunities.” Guitarist Tom McCarthy delivers a faultless guitar solo which provides one of the many highlights of the evening.
A cover of The Stooges’ I Wanna Be Your Dog (lifted from the four-piece’s most recent Maida Vale session) is thrown in for good measure and it sounds even rawer after being given a makeover, Pretty Vicious style.
The inclusion of new material is a welcome addition to the band’s live set and does nothing to dull the growing anticipation for a debut album from the quartet – which is expected for release next year.
Breakthrough record Cave Song is another highlight in the set and it still retains as much vigour and excitement as the first time I heard it. Clearly a crowd favourite too, it’s building riffs are unmistakeably rock ‘n’ roll and it only cements their status further as one of the most exciting new bands around.
Watch the video for single National Plastics below:
Words and photo by Shannon Cotton