Once more into the breach we go, as live music gigs return to some of their pre-pandemic glory. For how long we have yet to see. It seems advisable to enjoy them while we can, but to do the sensible thing and take the appropriate precautions: get vaccinated, take a test and/or wear a mask, which some venues still require, so that everything doesn’t get shut down again. And you just know that live music will be the first to go.
While everyone was definitely looking post-lockdown demob happy for, well, Demob Happy, the Scala wasn’t imposing any Covid requirements, just the usual frisking, before entering into its dark bowels.
Shortly after the doors opened VANT hit, or rather sauntered onto, the stage. The last time I saw VANT was way back in 2016 at Leefest, when it was transitioning into Neverland, and back then VANT was a them, an excitable rock group that closed the festival for me, which is what I was expecting. Tonight, it was a much more subdued affair with Matty Vant doing an acoustic solo set of slightly melancholy songs from his forthcoming album.
The pace picked up with London indie-pop five-piece moa moa, on the eve of the vinyl release of their single 'Coltan Candy' on cult label Speedy Wunderground. Although classified as indie-pop their sound embraces many genres, including psych, that left plenty of room for energetic solos from singer/guitarist James Ratcliffe, and sax interludes from singer Sophie Parkes.
Of course, nearly everyone was there for headliners, Brighton-based trio Demob Happy, who were winding down their two-week UK tour, promoting their latest single 'Sympathy Boy', with this London gig ahead of the two-night hometown finale. From the outset they were the very definition of a power trio and they didn’t let up for 75-minute set, playing new songs and crowd-pleasing favourites from their previous releases.
All words and images and by the amazing Chris Patmore (buy his book)