NME Awards Pretty Vicious at Shacklewell Arms – 24/01/2018


Photos 1 and 2 courtesy Timeline photos,

First outing for the new year and looking forward to seeing Pretty Vicious after watching a few songs on youtube. Very low key part of NME awards and first time at the Shacklewell Arms for me, which was interesting . Located close to Dalston Kingsland overground its an intimate venue , epitomised by unisex toilets which seemed to have continual running water from a number of exposed pipes. The pub is a little worse for wear generally but kudos for keeping live music going . The supports were Sophie and the Giants who had a bit of a Wolf Alice Vibe. Very competent vocalist and on a number of listens I think they would grow and the strength of some compositions would come to the fore. As always difficult to get a good feel from a one-off listen live . Band ably supported so interested to see if they can find there way up the ladders of the music biz, if that’s what they want.

Pretty Vicious hit the stage at 9.15 and in my view took a few songs to warm up. Group of about 20-30 die-hard fans then got into stride and the place got quite steamy to the point where the mirrored walls started to perspire at one point ( reminded me of seeing the Damned at the Marquee back in 1977 where the walls were invariably dripping). Ah nostalgia. I enjoyed the second half of the set more than the first and the vocalist whipped the crowd up . These guys are probably not the saviours of rock and roll but they are still young and have time to develop their sound further.

Hailing from Merthyr Tydfil they did remind me of Sterophonics (vocal annunciation) and I’m not that excited to constant references to Wales and this kind of sub text of taking over the world. Perhaps that’s the prerogative of the young. In conclusion they were suitably entertaining, have tuneful  post punk aggression and they do write songs that reflect their frustration with their lot with which certain element of current teenagers can identify. Worth seeing and  they are back out on tour in early to Mid March playing in London at the Borderline. I don’t see them as having a unique selling point so they are going to need to work hard to get to the next level of headlining. Good honest band so all the best and lets see where it goes.

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