The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Heaven - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Heaven

by Lawrence Poole Rating: Release Date:

From sumptuous, alcohol-laden riders to travelling to far flung corners of the world for free, it goes without saying being in a band has its perks and last night Brooklyn indie scamps The Pains of Being Pure at Heart used their burgeoning rock star status to fulfil another dream - playing Heaven.

At first glance playing one of the capital's gay clubbing institutions may not appear top of the to do list of the über-cool Fortuna Pop quartet, but back in the halcyon days of Britpop, Suede name-checked the legendary venue in a lyric, cementing the Charing Cross subterranean bunker in the hearts of the four-piece.

And it didn't just make sense as a romantic whim either; Heaven is a great sweatbox of a live venue, which looking at their sparsely populated upcoming listings, is criminally under used.

Airing a mixture of cuts from their eponymous debut album plus a few choice smidges from the work-in-progress which is the follow-up, frontman Kip Berman had a surprisingly mixed crowd dancing giddily from the get-go.

Sporting a pastel-striped jumper, which was just the right side of garish, his group's frenetic brand of C86-fused pop simply transported you back to a simpler, more naive time before mortgages, pension plans and the 9-5 grind of daily life were even on the horizon.

Surfing on the back of impossibly cute keyboardist Peggy Wang's melodious keyboard licks, TPOBPAH sound like The Strokes after a day at Willy Wonka's chocolate factory.

Sadly, they don't possess the same armoury of scuzzy, killer anthems as their fellow Big Apple dwellers, but when they hit, they hit hard.

'Young Adult Friction' was utterly joyous, one of the best songs to come out of New York in aeons, while 'Higher Than the Stars' - with its teen romance-fuelled 'in the back of her mother's car' refrain - was almost as captivating.

The band do fall down elsewhere though, by simply being just too darn C86. Kip's vocals are difficult to pick up never mind decipher on several tracks, lost in maelstrom of super-tight, but woozy guitars.

The inklings from their sophomore album proffered more promise though, particular with 'The Heart in Your Heartbreak', which was far more muscular and propulsive than anything they've released to date.
Touring guitarist and Bernard Butler look-a-like Christoph Hocheim beefed up the sound impressively throughout and it would have taken a hard heart to leave this shoegaze-tastic shindig with anything other than a Cheshire cat grin on your chops, particular as the band happily mingled and autographed with punters afterwards - roll on album number two.

Comments (1)

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I loved their debut album. Its very C86 and the songs are very sugary and instantly catchy. I saw them at the jericho in oxford last year. A top live band that i would recommend everyone who likes jangly guitar indie to see.

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