Memphis Industries 13th Birthday - Koko - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

Memphis Industries 13th Birthday - Koko

by Lawrence Poole Rating: Release Date:

Joining the terrible teens could hardly have been more fun for this much-loved, eclectic, all-encompassing record label. Celebrating the momentous occasion on the same day as the small matter of two million people going on strike over a long-running pension dispute, the need for a touch of levity to raise the mood in this corner of north London proved most welcome.

With eager music-loving bods filling the tiers of this rouge-soaked, ornate Camden gem from 7pm onwards, there was no time to waste. Following an opening set by melancholic troubadours Colourmusic, hotly-tipped Manc quintet Dutch Uncles showed just why they have been swimming in rosy plaudits for the last three years.
Led by the laconic Duncan Wallis, who has a nifty line in amusing stage patter, the whip tight five-piece ripped through the majority of their British debut, Cadenza. Blending angular 70s pop with Talking Heads riffs and melodies, Dutch Uncles, on this evidence, possess the walk to match the talk.

North-eastern gems Field Music are up next and despite being three albums in, they are still to pull up any trees, which is a bit of a mystery. The Sunderland four-piece, based around the axis of the Brewis brothers, remain an enticing prospect. Completing the holy trinity which also features pals and musical accomplices Maximo Park and The Futureheads, it's not surprising their chilled-out indie cuts stir memories of both, with a measure of Foals at their most laid-back thrown in for good measure.

It all makes for stellar introduction to the headline act and Memphis Industries' marquee live act, The Go! Team. The Brighton-based sextet are famed for their tour de force live performances and it's not long before they have the audience in raptures here too. Bombastic, athletic and down-right compelling frontwoman Ninja remains a thoroughly captivating performer - spinning, bobbing and gyrating around the stage with enough energy to light up Regent Street's Christmas lights. 'The Power is On' and 'Ladyflash' remain utterly joyous, surfing on Jamie Bell's pumping bass. 'Ready to Go Steady' and 'Bottle Rocket' maintain the momentum, which only slows to welcome on stage and applaud the Memphis team.

And with acts like these, plus the splendid Phoenix Foundation, on their roster, MI's teenage years could well be their healthiest yet.

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