Remember when ‘indie’ really meant ‘independent’? When it was huddling around a radio ardently waiting for John Peel to play your favourite band — the only time they’d ever be on the radio? When it was going to gigs that, devoid of both screaming girls and tracksuit-wearing knob heads, you could just lose yourself in? When it was feeling smug because the average preening, sports car-driving prats around town were completely unaware of the exciting underground scene happening around them?
Those days are but memories when we live in an age of Coasts – tonight playing their first show in the city since Live At Leeds earlier this year. Coasts – a band who, speaking of preening prats, can be found on the Made In Chelsea soundtrack — channel everything that’s indie, except for, well, the whole ideal itself.
A good case in point is opening gambit Wallow, a track that sees singer Chris take to the stage in a white blazer and a mop Brian Harvey would have been proud of in ’94. Like ‘Stay’ and ‘Come A Little Closer’ which follow later, it’s a serviceable tune, built around skinny guitar lines and galloping drums. But it lacks any real excitement.
What Coasts do provide is alternative music for the toffs. Despite probably assuming that their sub-Vampire Weekend guitar melodies and skinny jeans make them an NME wet dream, in actual fact the not-a-hair-out-of-place demeanour and limited vision actually makes them an easily accessibly artist for those who’ve yet to discover that the Ramones were a band and not a clothing line.
As it turns out, every song played by Coasts tonight employs a similar tactic of wiry lead guitar and a pithy lyric, but it’s right at the back end of the set that an actual gem stands out. A Rush Of Blood, their latest single, uses the formula and gives the best results.
“I could be your hero,” goes A Rush Of Blood as it reaches climax. Indie bands may not be what they once were anymore, and Coasts may do nothing to keep the flame alive — but now’s the time where they choose their audience and their side. Will they be the heroes of guitar music in 2015 – or just more Made In Chelsea soundtrack fodder?