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Live Review: Official Secrets Act and Will & The People @ the Borderline – 8th April 2009

By on Thursday, 9th April 2009 at 2:05 am

This review originally appeared on Londonist

Official Secrets Act (live side)Sometimes it’s good to catch a band with next to no prior knowledge or expectations. You can be blown away by their amazingness, or just enjoy them with no prior hype. That’s just what we did last night when we caught London’s Official Secrets Act at the rather great Borderline. We knew of one song, so we popped down to check them and some other great bands out.

Opening was Devon’s Paper Heroes who have shot to fame since their song “Jenny Jones” was featured on the latest series of teen drama Skins. Delivering a welcome hit of indie pop, they are certainly more than competent, blasting through their short set with doses of banter (“come on… Come closer, we won’t bite… We’re from Devon after all!”) and some great pop. The downside? Its all about as memorable as a Kooks b-side, and the stuff that is great is a walking talking cliché… “1,2, I love you, 3,4…”, “Up, Down, All around”. Really?

Next up was Will and the People, whose new single “Knocking” has been getting the Radio 1 daytime fans a bit hot under the collar. Catchy as anything Scouting for Girls have put out, the songs are both funky and memorable. You can’t feel that Will is stuck in the 90s though, calling his guitar the guitizzle and myspace myspizzle… Still, that shouldn’t distract from a band who look set to be 2009’s Hoosiers… catchy songs, snappy melodies and that marmite factor that divides opinions strongly.

Don’t forget that Will and the People recorded a special version of Knocking. Check it out here.

Will and the People (middle live)

The headliners, Official Secrets Act sound like they’d be the perfect band to headline the cavernous Borderline with their dark brooding name. Their lyrics may be dark but their music is anything but. Fast, frantic and a lot of fun, they blasted through their 40 minute set with bounds of energy and a sense of self-assuredness. The people next to us may not have been too keen on their “cocksure-ness”, however we loved it, thinking they already have the air of an Academy headlining band. The decision to put their biggest single to date, “So Tomorrow” in three songs into their set was a brave one which could have easily backfired, however we quickly realised that this is in fact a perfectly average song when compared to their others. As the temperature climbed, so did the excitement of the front of the crowd, clearly feeding off of the energy from the stage.

It seems that, like so many indie pop bands of the moment Official Secrets Act have a lot going for them, and are definately one of the better ones to watch out for at the festivals this summer. Their debut album, Understanding Electricity is out now.


Bands to Watch #50 – Paper Heroes

By on Tuesday, 2nd December 2008 at 9:58 am

It is my strong opinion that Paper Heroes are in danger of becoming a very successful band. The band’s fantastic indie sound is created by some awesome rhythmic vocals and guitar riffs that stay in your head after just one listen to a track. The bands also have a nice story to their climb to fame. Back in 2007, the lead singer, Matt Weedon, modestly sent off the track “Jenny Jones” into a competition set down by the television programme Skins. What’s not hard to believe is the band won and the tune featured in an episode.

The band’s debut album is set for release early next year and I can’t wait. Currently touring nearly everywhere in England, it can’t be long till these guys are set to go global. From the moment I heard the addictive guitar intro to “Jenny Jones” I knew there was something special about the band.

They sound like the Kooks but there is a different charm about them which sets them apart from the rest. Maybe it is the enticing vocals from Matt, maybe it’ the ridiculously catchy guitar melodies or simply the perky rhythms but there is something about these guys that suggests they can add a new and fresh dynamic to the indie scene which is currently crammed with clones of other bands.

The only problem I have with these guys is why it has taken them two years to get their album together and go for the big time. Although the timing could not be better to liven up what I think is a saturated genre. It seems set to all be part of a genre conquering master plan.


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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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