It’s 9.45 in a Camden pub on a Tuesday evening. Take an over-crowded room and a heavy heat, along with agitated and impatient people, and you’re almost there. Although it has to be said I didn’t feel like that when seeing Beasts and Magic Gang, who both played right before Baby Strange.
It’s time now, and Aidan, Connaire and Jonathan climb on stage while the crowd instantly becomes electric. People dancing, jumping, singing, crowd-surfing and stage-climbing, it’s like everybody here, without exception, somehow caught a curious illness and became crazy. The Baby Strange syndrome pretty much looks like that.
Half-way between The Clash and Palma Violets, with a slight note of Black Sabbath and The White Stripes, the three boys from Glasgow already have their own sound and identity. With ‘Friend’ and ‘Pure Evil’, the sound is raw punk and dark, yet we notice a descrete pop, early ’50s rockabilly-like influence, especially in their last song ‘Distance Yourself’.
The guitar sounds almost sludgy sometimes, with a high level of distortion, fuzz and some feedback effects, alongside dissonant harmonies. There might only be three of them, but they manage to impulse an ambience as soon as they climb on stage, which reminds me of those garage bands in the 1960s.
Big things are predicted for this bunch. If you are up in Scotland make sure you try to catch them at their shows this weekend at Stereo in Glasgow this Friday (6th June) and Sneaky Pete’s in Edinburgh on Saturday (7th June).