When you hear that the most rad and avant-garde band of the moment is going to hit 33 Chatsworth Road’s backyard you know it’s a night that can’t be missed. The Garden playing in a garden. A unique venue for a unique band.
Since the identical twin brothers released their debut album The Life And Times Of A Paperclip last year, and walked the catwalk for Hedi Slimane’s Saint Laurent, they’ve been in the spotlight. The excitement and curiosity is in the air.
A lot of people try to describe The Garden; they’ve been called “neo-punk” or “electro-punk” but since everything that surrounds them is so hard to classify in the already existing genres they made their own: the Vada Vada. Like they say, “Vada Vada is an alternative reality that we put ourselves into so we don’t have to fit in”. It’s not possible to describe Vada Vada either, you either get it or don’t. What everyone agrees on is their raw punk ingredients: energy and attitude.
Wyatt and Fletcher Shears hit the stage and the crowd observes quietly with surprise and wonder. Quick and short songs and a powerful and photogenic stage presence are the essence of the band. In the middle of the set something amazing happens – they both leave their instruments and go mental, singing with electronic music, violently crushing into the crowd and coiling their heads with the microphone wires. Everything goes so fast that there’s no time to figure out what’s going on. While they go through their repertoire the crowd heats up and by the second half of the set the audience’s alive and caught up in the Vada Vada. The climax moment of the gig arrives almost at the end when they play their hit I Am A Woman, the sweat and mosh from the first rows raises the mud from the venue’s floor whilst people fall onto the stage. When they finish their half hour gig the crowd wants more, but what can you expect from a band that released a 19 minutes/16 songs long record?
The Garden are certainly one of the best bands to watch live if you’re bored of anything typical. You might call it nonsense, they call it Vada Vada.
Neelam Khan Vela