Saturday 7th February
If you’re seeking a foray into indie pop delights, a Fortuna Pop! is probably the place to go. With Flowers and Evans The Death on the bill, we expected guitar jangles and rustling drum beats to ricochet around the room at the Sebright Arms – and were not disappointed – but this happy and pulsing clatter was also infused with a slight element of the bittersweet. These are two bands who write flickering and joyous songs that are as tempestuous as they are energetic, written from a place of authenticity and an acceptance of the affecting realities of life.
Gazing around we were struck by how crowd was older than you might expect at this hipster London venue, even whilst the band members looked as adolescent as their songs sounded. Perhaps this proves that the basic tenets and emotions of human experience are the same, regardless of age or lifestyle – we all struggle with what to feel, where to go, what to eat, who to hang out with, and all the other mundane trivialities that these two bands explore in their catalogue of sparkly yet sardonic songs. Seamlessly shifting between deep and lovelorn yearning and positive life affirming sentiment, both bands put on a fun show. There’s an assumption that indie must be deep, and music challenging, but sometimes, fun is enough.
Flowers debut album Do What You Want To, It’s What You Should Do was released last year on Fortuna Pop!, and live they are just as bright and joyous as on record. Fresh vocals from the impish Rachel Kennedy bring songs such as Young, Lonely I Love You and Joanna alive, simmering with maximum emotion whilst pressing minimal demands. Evans The Death are frenetic, insistent and bounding with energy, Katherine Whitaker’s gnarly vocals bringing to life the songs penned by guitarist Dan Moss. Threads and Unclean evoke tapping legs and shifting shoulders, playfully skipping along, and new single Enabler, off second album Expect Delays (get it?) suggests that they have not lost their jagged and jangly edge.
The bands and their label have never claimed to be rewriting the musical rulebook. But that’s fine. It’s not what I want on a cold Saturday. Whilst this wasn’t a revelatory or transcendent experience in the slightest, it was nice and fun. And nice and fun is good.