FOX AND FIRKIN
Three young South East London bands tonight at the Fox and Firkin in Lewisham, and every one of them looks at home on the stage. First up are the cool, calm and collected Haraket, whose dreamy soundscapes are a lot more transfixing live than from audio alone. The lead female singer rocks a Grimes-esque haircut, the synth player cooly chews gum on stage, but this is no arrogant hipster band. Haraket are bloody talented, balancing their dreamy vocal reverbs with gritty urban beats and sensibilities.
Thidius take the stage second. Again we see a young band that are completely in their element on the stage. They may not appear nervous, but urgency is something they certainly don’t lack. Neither is soul. Young Izzy Risk sings with a depth that is beyond her years, and with a tone that is truly unique, sounding simultaneously strong and vulnerable. Her and brother George exchange long glances onstage, while the band play track after immersive track, drawing the crowd in further and further.
Speaking of stellar, here comes the most talked about 19 year old this side of London – King Krule. Archy brings his trademark swagger to the stage, and the sweaty young crowd positively heave with energy in response. This is not really the kind of music that you dance to (although plenty of tracks like ‘Lizard State’ are loud and up-tempo), and that’s partly because King Krule is something to behold. He is a bit of a contradiction; at times he snarls and spits in a punk-like style, with the ‘fuck you’ attitude of Sid Vicious. At other times he appears awkward and utterly endearing, and we are reminded of his age and overwhelmed by his talent. His songs are both beyond his years and also blatantly the dialogue and frustrations of an angry teenager. Archy certainly knows how to handle his guitar, and he has assembled a solid group of musicians as his band.
They finish the set with ‘Easy Easy’, ending a night of serious talent and bright young things. The cool and quietly confident sound of these three bands is backed up by a sense of soul and grit that is often missing in the Shoredification of London’s music scene – it seems that South East London is the place to be.