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Anybody who has seen Hedi Slimane’s recent SS15 collection for Saint Laurent will know that the Psych rock revival is still going strong and one of the bands riding this wave are the Californian based outfit the Allah-las. We saw them perform at their sold out show at the Oval Space in Hackney last week.

The air in the venue was thick with incense smoke as the band took to the stage performing against an acid tinged road movie backdrop. They delivered a polished set full of hits from their self-titled debut album and recently released offering ‘Worship the sun’.

Three of the band met working in Amoeba Records in L.A and their music is a fusion of different musical influences including pop, blues, surf and psych. Their sound is clearly influenced by 60’s bands such as The Byrd’s but there are also similarities to their west coast contemporaries the Brian Jonestown Massacre. Different members lead vocals on songs throughout the set and tambourines, maracas and bongos are used to add depth to their songs.

The new material slots effortlessly into the set but the biggest audience reactions on the night come from earlier material, with the evocative harmonies in ‘Sandy’ swaying everyone from side to side and collectively shouting along with lead singer Miles Michaud to the chorus in ‘Catamaran’.

20140924 Allah-Las 21 - Ph CFaruolo
20140924 Allah-Las 20 - Ph CFaruolo
Photos by Carolina Faruolo

The band leave the stage as the sun is setting on the Californian highway behind them before returning to fittingly play the closing song, ‘Long Journey’. A 60’s cover with a gritty blues vibe sees vocals being led by drummer Matt Correia while Michaud closes out the set strutting at the front of the stage on maracas and swigging from a bottle of Jack Daniels.