Being more or less adjacent to my house, boasting one of the lineups of the year and being at one of the finest venues in south-east London this gig was not one to be missed. So Young magazine have consistently shone a spotlight on the finest upcoming talent from Shame to HMLTD.
Proceedings started with Hotel Lux a band that who told me they were inspired by “Sleaford Mods and the existence of punk poet Connor Seed”. Despite hailing from Fareham they fit right in with the emerging wave of young talent in south-east London, their socially aware lyrics and bloodthirsty delivery are a treat. Singer, Lewis Duffin, towers over the audience and snarls every lyric with such vigour it feels as though a doomsday prophecy. Standout track Envoi builds with unnerving keys and a gravelly bass riff as Lewis takes to the crowd to proclaim “You’ve ruined his life” in the face of the equally enraged audience members. There are few bands that can feel genuinely dangerous these days however Hotel Lux do everything on a knife edge.
Things took a huge change of pace as singer-songwriter Matt Maltese followed but whether it was a gamble or not it paid off. I was worried I’d struggle to hear him sing over a room of chatting people however from the second he started the room was and remained silent. Throughout his set he showcased a wondrous ability to craft songs that were both witty, humorous and simultaneously could tug at your heartstrings. A ballad about Theresa May and Donald Trump embracing each other in a bunker as the world ended was a personal highlight and may or may not have made me well up.
Slightly bleary-eyed from the previous set of emotion, the crowd were soon brought back from fantasies of world leaders in love to the in your face brashness of Goat Girl. Unapologetic feminist hits delivered with a nonchalant style most of the movement was left to the crowd but they were nonetheless brilliant. Whilst it’s sad I have to acknowledge it, it was refreshing to see an all female lineup and with the lack of those around it feels worth mentioning. Closing track of the set, Country Sleaze, saw the four-piece at their aggressive best and the musical rage was reflected in the crowd as limbs flailed in a mosh pit.
Words by Jack Winstanley