Evans the Death @ Camden Barfly, 8th September 2011

John Kennedy’s XFM X-Posure Live

It would be easy to pigeon-hole Evans the Death before you’ve even heard a note tonight. A female lead singer with striking blonde hair, backed by a group of lads ready to bash out some melodic guitar riffs and it could be the late 80’s / early 90’s all over again and the comparisons to Fortuna Pop labelmates The Primitives, could begin. Evans the Death are not here to be typecast though. When they walk onto the Barfly stage for one of John Kennedy’s excellent X-Posure nights they look young and almost ill-at-ease, but when they play their sound is bold and heavy. Katherine Whitaker’s voice is rich and distinct, but sometimes battling to rise above the heavily distorted sound of Matt Gill’s second guitar, all the while the lead parts of main songwriter Dan Moss’ guitar dance round the melodic hooks on tracks such as Telling Lies and The Thread. Maybe it’s the weight of knowing that they were being recorded for XFM, or perhaps they are just that shy, as between song chat is kept to the bare minimum. “Thank yous” and “this next song is…” are the most the band express, prompting their manager to heckle them from the crowd into promoting their singles clearer, leading to a slightly awkward laugh from Whitaker. It’s a shame that the sound levels are slightly out for their set because some of their tracks are brilliant. One half of new AA side single I’m so Unclean is the standout, with the pop-punk bass solo intro leading to the full on assault of the melody kicking in, it hits you like a freewheeling truck. As she sings the tale of heartbreak and loneliness Whitaker’s voice acquires almost Morrissey-esque inflections, whilst lyrics such as “So I stared at the cat for a while” and “When I’m watching the shopping channel, I will think of you” perfectly capture the banality of post-breakup introspection. Whilst impressive, it’s by no means a perfect set for Evans the Death tonight, with the keys and the vocals sometimes getting battered into a corner by the guitars, but with Whitaker’s awesome voice and their clever song-writing they’re certainly worth checking out.

Published by Francesca Baker

Passionate about music, the world, exploring, literature and smiling. Writing, marketing and events for all my favourite things.

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