On what would have been a non-descript Monday in Hackney, the line-up at Oslo sure made the trip out worthwhile. Cheatahs, No Joy and Feature, a triple whammy that meant value for money and ringing ears…WE SAID RINGING EARS! First act Feature, were not quite bubble-gum punk, more like a sweet and sour gobstopper that you’re enjoying but puts you through your paces. Don’t be fooled by the silky hair and lush harmonies either, they’re like Battle Royale contestants that look all sweetness and light, then will shred the hell out of their instruments.
Their set was switched tempos, shoegaze to urgent punk, and the banter needed a little more conviction or a louder mic, but Feature (Liv, Jen and Heather) are definitely a force to be reckoned with. They play in different bands and have an album coming out later this year. Watch ‘em.
The murky blue light that swathed the stage seemed to dim when No Joy stepped up, as if their power chords and heads down grungey wall of noise channelled every last drop of juice out of the equipment. Their set was a mix of introspection, LOUD riffs, subtle melody and effortless building of towering soundscapes that almost seemed to topple at their peak, but then a bassline or drum beat would pull it all back. They sounded angsty and heartily used reverb and feedback (in plentiful supply throughout the whole night), but No Joy brought their own rough joy to the evening.
Cheatahs’ recent Sunne Ep was a glorious concoction and on the evening, sounded robust and uplifting. They brought a lightness to the evening without sacrificing their, at times, heavy lo-fi sound. The whole night was an absolute treat, and separately the bands will carve very strong paths, but together…It was like the parts of a transformer reconfiguring into a rock/pop/indie juggernaut. WOAR!