Tokyo Police Club - Scalla, London - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

Tokyo Police Club - Scalla, London

by Louise Harlow Rating: Release Date:

Just a quick word before we get down to the nitty Tokyo gritty: Flashguns. Awash with pubescent artlessness and yet optimally evolved in every other way, they turn out an eloquent support set which reeks of promise. Sam Johnstone's earnest vocals frequently fracture with fraughtness, particularly on standout track 'I Don't Not Love You', which in itself is enough to warrant a trip through debut album The Beginning.

Having had their public perfectly primed by the guileless charm of said Flashguns, Canadian West Coasters Tokyo Police Club emerge into the collective embrace of the pepped Scala crowd. From the opening blows of 'Favourite Colour' through to resplendent encore, David Monks et al revel in the delivery of a set monopolised by month-old sophomore release Champ, which ricochets back from a vocally enabled dance-floor collective almost word for word.

Champ has been a regular fixture in my early morning sonic smorgasbord of late, (if I must asphyxiate in the subterranean commuter funk of the Victoria line, let it be to the thump of a Canadian long-player delight) and the searing, sweaty live incarnations of standout tracks like 'Wait Up' and 'End of a Spark' more than matched expectations. What I hadn't expected was to discover an appreciation for the quiet magnificence of album track 'Hands Reversed'. In reviewing Champ I'd (swiftly, stupidly) written it off as limp, pointless fill. Horrid oversight, and I stand corrected. That said, my new enjoyment may be biased by the three minutes of blissful stillness 'Hands' poured over an Ritalin-buoyed crowd, who assaulted each other with glee for every other part of the set (I now have the purple mottled legs of a battered wife - at least I probably had more fun)

Erstwhile gems from 2008's Elephant Shell including the raucous rally of 'Your English is Good' proved to still be vital and uplifting, even if they do highlight the bounds by which TPC's song-craft has progressed in the meantime. After I bobbed and squeezed out of the street fighting pit (most of brilliant 'Bambi' was spent in the emergency landing brace position) to a coward-friendly back corner, the band returned for a euphoric encore of 'Favourite Food'. With its arcing guitars and clarion call yells still ringing in my perfect ears, I sloped away to slather arnica on my poor wasted legs. Me chump, they Champ.

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