Brudenell Social Club’s Games Room was full to capacity for a varied, excitable, and often strange evening of live music. The room was fairly sparsely populated for a thoroughly impressive support slot from Goat Girl, before rapidly filling to the brim as The Lemon Twigs arrived.
Goat Girl kicked things of with one of the most memorable, and instantly loveable, warm up sets I have ever witnessed. Heavily influenced by bands under the influence of a wide spectrum of drugs, they incorporated stoner style grunge with psychedelic rock. Each track built in intensity from the previous one as Goat Girl proved to be completely unpredictable and unique. A collective of gifted and credible artists that pushed boundaries and offered up a gripping display of creativity and edge. Lead singer Clottie Cream’s vocals had a touch of Cate Le Bon about them during the softer moments, before she belted out some highly political and angst ridden lyrics. For such a young band these girls are already streaks ahead of their peers, and long may it last. Those who stayed away until the arrival of the headliners missed a real treat.
As the room swelled and The Lemon Twigs arrived this was when the night began to take a completely different direction. They are the polar opposite of Goat Girl, and have a broader appeal. What turned out to be a very strange set began with technical difficulties leading to singer and guitarist Brian D’Addario performing a solo cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Tonight We Will Be Fine”, which proved to be a beautiful and touching tribute.
With the technical blip now sorted the rest of the band got into full swing as they churned out a plethora of up-tempo tunes, none of which were remotely similar to the Cohen number, all of which the fans went wild for. Their style seems to be more closely related to musical theatre than the cool New York bands they are often compared to, definitely more Andrew Lloyd Webber than Joey Ramone. At moments they seem to be channelling Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”, and Brian is almost as compelling a front-man as Freddie Mercury was. He is visually compelling with his eccentric dress sense and regular huge leaps in the air, I have a feeling he would be an asset on the basketball court.
They are a talented and energetic bunch, but they also showed they are capable of more tender moments when Brian swapped his guitar for a piano. There was an issue with Brian’s voice cracking towards the end, but the audience and the rest of the band stepped in to help him out, although it certainly didn’t dampen the crowd’s spirits. The packed room was a sea of happy faces and judging by their reactions throughout, Musicals are the new Rock and Roll.