Teenagersintokyo, Night Bus
Mike Hughes 15/07/2010
On record, Teenagersintokyo sound punk elemental, echoes of much earlier bands like Fuzzbox. Live, it's got a lot more sheen than that, although any gloss would surely be pitted and dark as befits the music.
A five piece band from Sydney Australia, four of them girls who have known each other since school, the only bloke being the drummer who came on the scene much, much later. They are now signed to UK label Back Yard and are located over here. They've quite recently got out their first album 'Sacrifice', the claim to fame on that being the involvement of Bat for Lashes producer David Kosten. They've enjoyed enough hype to keep them on the crest of things, and support slots with CSS and The Slits have either been the cause or result.
Here and now live, they come on like a sonic boom, singer Samantha Lim thrashing and flailing in defiance of her chic attire and implausibly high shoes. The noise is driving and lumpy and thumping, and pretty darned exciting in the upstairs of a pub otherwise known as the Lexington. Actually that's underselling the venue, something I didn't understand until I moved down, that the top rooms of London pubs fulfil the same function as pukka basement clubs back home in Manchester or Liverpool.
Being transplants themselves, after the first couple of songs the band make a point of thanking their Aussie supporters, then quickly realise that might be a faux pas and try to ensure they're not inadvertently leaving out the locals. Such politeness.
As a band, they've got a tremendously tight engine room, and that I guess is what enables Samantha the space for such self expression on stage. Six of their eight song set is drawn from that new album. The exceptions are a cover that if you'd asked me before I would have thought implausible but actually works, Hall and Oates 'Maneater' and their closing number 'Black Bones' which pre-dates the album and tonight has every one of them hitting something, even a beer bottle will do, such is its percussive drive. Standout for me though is the dirty scuzz of 'New Day'.
There's a huge amount of new bands with masses of talent, so the question is, do Teenagersintokyo stand out enough? For four girls and a bloke, their sound has got plenty of balls. That broodiness, those echoes of something between post punk and Robert Palmer's Power Station, and most of all those moments of a plane taking off, make me say that I'd risk a tenner on these. Well worth catching if you get half a chance.
End It Tonight