Tribes, Foreign Office, Life In Film, Paradise Point
Rhian Daly 27/01/2011
The second gig in a four part series hosted by fashion brand Lyle & Scott, tonight's line up pulls together four differing bands the clothing company believes to be on the up. The small matter of actually getting in to XOYO puts paid to any hope of seeing the first of these, Paradise Point. A post-show MySpace search hints at a lucky escape, though, especially if they "treated" the audience to their version of Rihanna's 'Only Girl In The World' - a carbon copy of One Direction's vapid X Factor attempt parading as a cheap Chapel Club imitation.
No such accusations can be flung the way of Life In Film. Refreshingly off-kilter, their honeyed and soulful indie glimmers with the distant memory of summer, brightening the gloomy warehouse-style basement space. Clearly having made the most of the free L&S swag (judging by the eagles emblazoned across the Hackney residents' persons), Life In Film appear in good spirits as they rattle through an all too short set that includes the likes of 'Lose Control,' 'Get Closer,' and perfect set closer 'Alleyways.'
Foreign Office aren't quite as winningly endearing as those before them, peddling watered down parodies of Metronomy's dancefloor fireworks, for the most part. It's not all bad though as 'Losing The Plot' testifies, its simplistic, repetitive approach working in its favour. It's enough to question writing Foreign Office off completely just yet - given time, they could be challenging the aforementioned indie disco kings for their title. We'll just have to wait and see.
One band already threatening more established acts are headliners and media-proclaimed next big things, Tribes. A more cynical critic might say tonight's show sees the hype machine in full effect, given that three months ago Johnny Lloyd and co were playing to a mere handful of spectators as one of In The City's hot picks. This would be doing Tribes a huge injustice, though, after doing their fair share of gigs in pub back rooms building up a loyal fanbase. If anything, they deserve such an attentive and responsive crowd as they meet tonight.
From the first note of 'Whenever', this feels special - as if we're witnessing a band with great potential make that tentative step up to start their ascension. It's exciting, relentlessly thrilling. 'Girlfriend' and 'Sappho' follow quickly, the space just in front of the stage a mess of sweaty, writhing bodies drinking in Tribes' American-indebted lo-fi. Even a new, unfamiliar song doesn't halt the audience's enthusiasm - a rare occurrence in these impatient times. Most spine-tinglingly moving of all, though, is the sight of those same fans who've spent the whole night bouncing off the walls somberly swaying their arms to 'Nightdriving (Useless God)', a song for and about the late Charles Haddon of Ou Est Le Swimming Pool, the song itself delivered with an angry intensity that makes it all the more poignant.
Closing with 'We Were Children', it's a triumphant end to the night for both Tribes and Lyle & Scott. Whilst most tip lists and their residents should normally be taken with a pinch of salt, these boys are one band that, in a just world, should completely own 2011.