Live Review: Local Natives and Peggy Sue at Bristol Thekla – Wednesday 24th February 2010

By on Thursday, 25th February 2010 at 12:02 am

Last night we braved the rain showers, the freezing cold and the plain depressing evening and ambled along to Bristol’s Thekla to catch two bands that have been flying below a few radars of late.

First up was Brighton’s Peggy Sue. The indie folksy trio have just announced that their debut album will be out on Wichita in April, and so they’re hitting the road with Local Natives as a warm up to what looks set to be a year spent on the road. Having toured with Kate Nash, The Maccabees and Mumford and Sons, they knew how to command the stage and warmed up the limited Wednesday night crowd with some ease.

Sounding like Arcade Fire if they’d gained a few Fleet Foxes and spent a few weeks in the wild west of America with Gogol Bordello, they make a hell of a lot of noise for three people. With a wash board, accordion, and salvaged cymbals they started off slow with Long Division and Yo mama before notching it up a bit. Chat was kept short “due to a show on Monday where we just talked shit”, but they were none the worse off for it. Bluesy and lots of drums, they sound like so many bands you know (and love) and also something charmingly different. Definitely catch them if you can.

Then it was the turn of Los Angeles’ Local Natives. Not ones for having a massive hype machine behind them, they have built up a fanbase through relentless touring. They worked their way through the entirity of their debut long player, Gorilla Manor joking at the start of the encore “this is our last song – no, seriously, it’s the only song left that we know that we haven’t played!”.

So much of their set is full of anthemic, fists in the air sort of stuff, which we love here at Tighter than , you can tell that they know their songs inside out, stopping and re-starting songs in perfect unison. It’s almost like they’ve taken Fleet Foxes and injected them with a bit of Vampire Weekend or Two Door Cinema Club. They can also pull off the slower tracks (“Stranger things”, “Cubism”) with panache that doesn’t leave the crowd leaving for the loos or a fag break like Miike Snow’s set did.

Whilst both bands are no fresh faces to the touring circuit, both showed that they’re getting somewhere – it may not be an Arctic Monkeys rise to fame, but they’re definitely on the right tracks.

Enter our competition to catch Local Natives next week in Birmingham.

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One Response

12:13 pm
25th February 2010

This review does not do the band or the event justice! It was actually a pretty packed crowd for a start, and it wasn’t raining THAT much! Peggy Sue didn’t command the stage in the least and I would have prefered a bit of chat even if it was rubbish. Songs were nice enough but dull and just a bit ‘bangy’ after two or three. Nothing to write home about.
Local Natives on the other hand were an absolute treat and your review really doesn’t convey that – the sheer energy (especially in contrast to the somewhat lacklustre Peggy Sue) during their performance was incredible. I actually found Gorilla Manor hard to get into and some of the tracks not even very memorable, however, these boys HAVE to be seen live, their music really feeds off the live performance and the CD really doesn’t give them the credit they deserve. Water-tight performance, terrific musicianship, wonderfully crafted songs, spot-on harmonies, interesting swapping of instruments throughout, beautifully rhythmic and percussive but in a melodic way, the amazing power of a group of men singing at the top of their lungs and being completely in tune with each other (in more ways than one)… actually reminded me how lovely some of the songs really are on the album. And I’m sorry but I don’t get the Vampire Weekend reference AT ALL, Fleet Foxes maybe but I didn’t catch a hint of VW.
Great gig – definitely recommend people catch them live, you’re assured a good show and some lovely music.

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