4th August | White Rabbit
Photos: Duncan Cruickshank
This is a summer that just keeps on giving. Another swelteringly hot evening set the precedent for a sweaty night in Clifton on Saturday, as Breakfast Records took over The White Rabbit to celebrate the launch of Gorgeous Bully‘s new single and forthcoming record that’s set for release later in the year. Having most recently played at Thekla last year on their last trip to Bristol from Manchester, the more intimate confines of the Rabbit pub give the band a whole different experience of the city, while Gorgeous Bully themselves gift us with an indefatigable set that delivers old favourites and forthcoming new ones aplenty.
Langkamer sound uncompromisingly loud tonight. Everything’s turned up to the max and comfortably fills the small room that a large crowd have descended upon early as the four-piece succinctly find a balance between gentle laminations and rollicking garage pop.
What’s so immediately evident about Langkamer when they play live is just what good songwriters they are. They layer ample, fluttering hooks within sprightly, almost ardent rhythms and subtly administer tender, unabashed sentiment into a euphonic performance.
‘The Distance’ is a rattling, full-bodied example, hovering 50s surf hooks weave themselves amongst Joshua Jarman’s unwavering yell as the band somehow bop cooperatively to it’s tight, rapid pace. They keep this up for the duration of their set, their vivacity and passion for the performance nearly as engaging as the songs they peform.
Their harmonies in particular are absolutely on point, brash yet joyful and completely inviting. Jarman’s bellow carries ‘Snake Oil’ into its amorous chorus, before the whole band whip up the crowd for a healthy chant. Langkamer write guitar pop gems that linger pleasingly, whilst retaining a genuinely enthusiastic energy.
Having just played bass with Langkamer, Harriet Elder jumps straight up to the front of the stage for Dogeyed’s set and proceeds to capture the crowd with the trio’s brisk and enlivening melancholic pop.
While the EP is quite an understated listen, live they really come into their own, going for something bolder, yet melodically-focused. Jonathan Minto’s drums clatter and strike with authority, giving the band real clout when topped with Elder’s gravelly delivery. It must be stated just how Elder can capture a crowd, from the gentlest of murmurs to the biggest release, the listeners’ focus further evoking the feeling within her lyricism.
The trio bounce off of each other throughout the set, inter-song chatter settling any nerves and exuding the sense of comfort they share, inviting the crowd to be a part of it too. It’s an amorous feeling that is only heightened as they play ‘Dry’, the crowd gleefully singing along as the band really let loose to its yearning feedback.
Gorgeous Bully, performing as a recently-formed trio tonight, sound absolutely thunderous while retaining the joyous reticence that rings from Thomas Crang’s melodies.
Playing pretty seamlessly throughout the set, the new group sound perhaps the most engaging they’ve ever sounded. Underrated cuts of Gorgeous Bully’s rich past bristle with an agitated edge, while yet-to-be-released numbers give an indication of the perhaps more considered, introspective direction Crang wants to take.
What stands brightest though is the choice of set offered and just how it allows everything to gel. Gorgeous Bully continue to return with new favourites that linger, allowing their collection as a whole to swell fruitfully.
Listen to ‘So Bored’ here: