New Young Pony Club/Is Tropical/Teeth - The Cockpit, Leeds - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

New Young Pony Club/Is Tropical/Teeth - The Cockpit, Leeds

by Rich Morris Rating: Release Date:

TeethTeeth sound like the gawky synthpop of early Duran Duran mashed up and reconstituted by electronica boffins Autechre with added vocals from the Yoko Ono-via-Teletubbies lead singer of Deerhoof. That is to say, they sound completely awesome: engagingly wonky, likably lo-fi cattleprod electro-punk but with a satisfying thickness to their undulating synth sounds. On stage, a nerdy looking drummer boy hammers out basic but powerhouse beats while a beardy chap jabs his fingers at the keys of his laptop. Their female singer keeps the attention of the undersized crowd by hollering, wailing, running off the stage to grab audience members (including your humble reporter), spinning them round, inciting them to dance and generally doing everything a first class front-person should do. Teeth deserve to play bigger crowds. This will undoubtedly happen if they keep up tonight's form.

Following Teeth, Is Tropical variously sound like MSTRKRFT, Prodigy, Vampire Weekend, The Coral and The Big Pink if they scraped off the top layer of JAMC scum from their tunes to reveal the melancholy New Order dance-pop beneath. If you have Catholic tastes, you'll like Is Tropical. However, if you mainly like your indie to Is Tropicalcome with a side order of wistful romanticism a la The Libertines BC (before crack), then you'll really get what this band are about, since this breezy idealism is the tread that runs through their disparate tunes, from the sea shanty of debut single 'When O When' to set-closer 'Seasick Mutiny', a cute, crunchy oddity that sounds for all the world like Gershon Kingsley's 1969 proto-synthpop hit 'Popcorn'.

And so, after a lull, New Young Pony Club take to a stage a tad smaller than the one they bestrode the last time they played this venue, back in 2007 when they were riding high on the media-created wave of new rave. The fact they didn't quite hit the heights predicted for them the first time around was down to the ease with which they were written off as a cute one-hit synthpop act with little substance - the hit in question being the mighty, slinky, addictive 'Ice Cream'. However, those here tonight know that NYPC have an ace up their sleeve: they're actually a shit hot live band. Live, new songs like 'Chaos' and 'Lost a Girl' sound punchier and less angsty, while first album tracks like the serpentine 'Hiding on the Staircase' come to thrilling, writhing life. NYPC are one of the few bands today who can truly pull off the pop-punk-soul-funk sound of ealy-80s groups like Bow Wow Wow, Pigbag and Rip Rig and Panic, so it's a shame you can't really tell this from their records, which often suffer from stilted, over-glossed production. The highlight of tonight's set is a jaw-dropping cover of PJ Harvey's 'Dress', its grungy rage retooled as Duran Duran synth-funk.

Singer Tahita Bulmer has the audience where she wants them from the off. Anyone who can dance as well as she does while wearing the teetering heels she sports tonight deserves all the love the crowd throws her way. But there's an elephant in the room, and Tahita knows it. The people want to hear The Big Hit, and the band's set is an exercise in delaying the inevitable. "Has anyone here bought our new album?" asks Tahita. Most of the crowd whoop in response. "Thank you," she says, sounding like she means it. At this point, someone near the front yells out for 'Ice Cream'. The tone of Tahita's voice chills perceptively: "Your desert will follow the main course". When they do play The Hit, they leave barely a pause at the end before launching into the next song. It could come off as mean-spirited, but in fact no one seems to mind. The crowd tonight genuinely love this band. They know all the words to the songs, even the new ones. As far as they're concerned, NYPC are no one hit wonders. Whether new album The Optimist will make 'Ice Cream' a distant memory remains to be seen, but on the evidence of tonight, NYPC have got a lot left to give.

Richard Morris

Comments (0)

There are no comments posted here yet
Related Articles
New Young Pony Club/Is Tropical/Teeth - The Cockpit, Leeds - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab
Teeth of the Sea - Wraith
  • 02/21/2019
  • By Rob Taylor
New Young Pony Club/Is Tropical/Teeth - The Cockpit, Leeds - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab
Is Tropical - Black Anything
  • 02/14/2016
  • By Jeff Penczak
New Young Pony Club/Is Tropical/Teeth - The Cockpit, Leeds - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab
Teeth Of The Sea - Master
  • 11/03/2013
  • By Andy Brown
New Young Pony Club/Is Tropical/Teeth - The Cockpit, Leeds - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab
Teeth - U R 1
  • 11/17/2011
  • By Rich Morris
New Young Pony Club/Is Tropical/Teeth - The Cockpit, Leeds - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab
Teeth - Whatever
  • 09/16/2011
  • By Rich Morris