It was an early start at Koko for my third date with Sunflower Bean. Saw them twice last year and was interested to see the development. Their first album “Human Ceremony” had a few catchy numbers being billed as new York psychedelia in terms of genre. A threesome for those who have not seen them you have bassist /vocalist Julia Cumming who is channeling a bit of Blondie and Ellie from Wolf Alice whilst the guitarist , Nick Kivlen ,is a Bob Dylan look-alike from his late 60’s eary 70’s period.. The second comparison is probably most relevant in terms of their commercialism although they do sound a little bit like Fleetwood Mac on the track “ I was a fool” . They came on about 8.45 as there was an early curfew and majored on tracks from the second album which doesn’t have the same instantly memorable hooks as album 1 . They were also plagued by lead guitar problems which did get a bit wearing as it interrupted the performance on at least three occasions.
Support was from “Vinyl Staircase” are an all male psychedelic band which reminded me a little bit of “Ulrika Spacek”, but without the power that they have developed, but in the same line of country. Nice enough but nothing distinctive at this stage for them to stand out from many active bands of the moment.
For me it does come down to this. To attract attention and stand out you need a unique hook and as its only rock and roll it needs to be challenging and hint at danger and spontaneity. Didn’t see that on this outing.
Second support were “Sorry” . Musically they are self-confessed romantics but they are of a generation that has associated them with the current South London music scene. As another more empathetic reviewer has noted”They all hang out at the same place – The Windmill pub in south London – which is why a lot of people affiliate them with bands like Shame and Goat Girl. “We’re connected to those bands because we all hang out and they’re the same age as us,” says Louis, “but our music isn’t the same. It’s just that everyone goes to The Windmill.” (Daisy Jones)Available at https://noisey.vice.com/en_uk/article/595ppq/sorry-premiere-new-track-lies-2017.
This was a bit of a last-minute spontaneous purchase and pandered to my FOMO. Next outing is “Shame” at the Electric Ballroom. Im rooting for those guys to pull off something special.