Cargo is already pretty full tonight as the support band, Sky Larkin, take to the stage. It seems strange to refer to a band of Sky Larkin’s quality as a ‘support band’, certainly with their superb second album, Kaleide, about to see it’s release proper (it has been rush released as a download following the dreaded – but somewhat unavoidable these days – internet leak) it will not be very long at all until they are playing venues of this size and up as headliners.
Katy Harkin strolls to the mic and announces ‘Hello, we are Wheatus’, in reference to the fact that the band had to wait onstage for ‘Teenage Dirtbag’ to be faded on the PA before they can begin.
Once they start though, there is no stopping them. They fly through a set of the kind of indie-rock tunes that they are masters of. They play favourites from the first record and the best picks of the new one.
Bass and synth man, Doug Adams, proves himself to be the most talented person to ever don the ‘Nick Grimshaw haircut’ and if there is a more animated drummer than Nester Matthews then I would pay good money to see them play.
It is a fun-filled, swift set and it is utterly brilliant.
If proof were needed that Sky Larkin is a band on the up, then the way they handle themselves tonight is it.
It all comes to an end, rather too soon though, with the outstanding new single ‘Still Windmills’ followed by ‘Land Locked’.
‘We’ll leave you in the very capable hands of Best Coast’ says Katy as they leave the stage.
Following that cannot be easy. California’s Best Coast, however, do indeed have very ‘capable hands’ and their garage rock / 60’s pop cocktail is enormously pleasing on the ears.
From the very moment Bethany Cosentino begins singing, the entire crowd is captivated by her charm – which is both apparent in the songs themselves, and also the way she interacts with the crowd between songs.
She is a little bundle of energy with the kind of ‘don’t-give-a-fuck’ attitude which makes for a superb front woman. Although backed up more than ably by ex Vivian Girls‘ Ali Koehler on drums and Bob Bruno who lays down some effortlessly breezy guitar riffs, Cosentino is doubtless the star of the show. However, one unlikely challenger to her throne – who isn’t even here tonight – is Cosentino’s pet cat, Snacks. Every time he gets a mention (and there are many such occasions), there is a huge roar from the audience. Although, bearing in mind he has well over 1000 followers on Twitter – yes, really – this maybe shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Best Coast confirm themselves as masters of the simple song. They do not play anything tonight that makes it much past three minutes and four bar chords but it is the sublime, catchy melodies, coupled with Cosentino’s 60’s style, dreamy vocals that make this band so special.
Songs like ‘Boyfriend’, ‘Goodbye’, ‘Our Deal’ and ‘When I’m With You’ are all stonewall fuzzy pop classics and get exactly the response they deserve tonight.
They play a few cover versions too, probably to stretch the set out to a fitting amount of time for a headline slot, although their version of The Ramones’ ‘I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend’ is particularly stunning.
The lyric to Best Coast’s own ‘Boyfriend’ goes ‘The other girl is not like me / She’s prettier and skinnier / She has a college degree.’
Well that might be so, but we would wager that she would make a shit rockstar!
And, of course, to visit Snacks The Cat’s Twitter page click here
On the subject of Twitter, we have recently started our own, which you can see if you click here