LIVE: This Feeling ‘Big in 2016’, Nambucca, London, 09.01.16

In conjunction with Jack Daniels and Radio X, This Feeling pride themselves on bringing us the best of new music, first. This platform stretches from getting crucial airplay, to Track Of The Day here at Gigslutz. As part of their picks for the best in breaking artists in 2016, This Feeling hosted yet another one of its formidable Club Nights last Saturday at Nambucca in North London. Gigslutz were there to witness it all…

Opening the evening was Strange Ways. The fuzz-pop East London four piece have made a rapid and striking launch into music over the last few months. Having only officially formed in August 2015, the band have already played to sold out audiences with the likes of Swim Deep and The View. This kind of traction does set a band up with a great platform, especially if they deliver to the standard of their musical CVs. Although Nambucca was only beginning to get busy at the time, Strange Ways were oddly charming and their music likewise. Their live performance doesn’t emulate that of a band who have only been together for 5 months, collectively the music and style really works. Former Track Of The Day ‘Things Ain’t What They Used To Be’ made a stand in their short but sweet set; with an official debut single release due in February, 2016 looks very promising for this quartet.

Before Paves even picked up their instruments, the audience had taken a keen interest. It’s easy to say that a band “look the part” but these guys really do. With a style more Rock n Roll than Jagger himself, Paves are the picture of a golden era turned modern day appeal that is hard to ignore. Their understated extravagance extends to their music which is a culmination of pure 70s’ inspired Rock with a bluesy, darker edge. ‘Dancing ‘Till The End Of Time’ only enhanced the band’s musical capabilities with lead Luke Shield evoking a young Jim Morrison and drummer Tom Triggs cleverly bringing a catchy side to a filthy guitar line. Having built and developed a following under a couple of previous names, it feels like Paves have now settled and are here for the long run. Described by Fred Perry Subculture as “neo-psychedelic”, we’d prefer to put it as a sound that is destined for lights.

It hasn’t taken Viola Beach long to become a recognisable name in music; over the last few months it seems they have not only been gigging relentlessly but have also received support in all manner of angles from Maida Vale sessions with the BBC to being hotly tipped by so many music blogs. This Feeling are no different – championing their sound, they were next up. Having heard so much about these lads in the last few months, it would be interesting to see what they brought to the live table. They are the definition of an Indie band: full of energy, summer esk tunes with light, easy to listen to melodies and a casual stage presence to match. It is easy to see that these guys are going to storm festival season this year, especially if the sun is out. Although, it may be that they are just not quite suited to the pub-type venue. Destined for bigger things or just another indie band people are happy to sway along to? Only time will tell. The band are set to open from Blossoms on their upcoming UK tour, so make sure you arrive at those venues early!

After finding out that Bedford-based The Wholls acquired their manager by sneaking into his garden, setting up a PA and playing their tunes on his lawn, you could guess even before arriving that they were going to be some big characters in this band. By this time in the evening, the 50 free JD and Cokes had most definitely gone and very few were leaving the front of the stage so when The Wholls finally dropped their latest single ‘X21’ it was appreciated fully. Their frontman, Tordy, really goes for it, even on what could be considered the “quieter” tracks – his stage presence is really felt. Performance wise, The Wholls are a soundtrack to a good night out. Over the past few months, the band have been gaining increasing support form Radio 1 and they have just returned from China following a live televised performance at the 2015 Miss World contest. Impressive stuff.

Since the release of their first official single ‘Ay Ay’ back in April last year, Dublin outfit Otherkin have been building a sense of something very special. From playing a whole host of major Irish festivals including Electric Picnic, to smashing their set here at Nambucca, the band really have the knack for a catchy tune. Bringing their feral, raw grunge pop to North London, Otherkin are a burst of raucous, relentless energy that every live performance should strive to be. Their latest single ‘Feel It’ saw a more melodic take on a Strokes like guitar riff, where monster tune ‘Ay Ay’ culminated in driving drums and incredibly pure vocals filled with emotion from lead Luke Reilly. Both tracks are taken from the band’s EP The 201, available to download now. It’s hard to pin down exactly what Otherkin have hit upon here. Whether it’s jumping onto the bass drum, crashing to the floor or falling into the audience, they managed to turn Nambucca in Brixton Academy instantly. It’s a very gripping spectacle, full of flair, which has the potential to easily blow the likes of Jet or The Hives out of the water in the near future. I can comfortably state that Otherkin are destined for massive things, they simply need to be your favourite new band.

London natives Sisteray were to close the evening and see us into Sunday. Almost everywhere you look in the city, you are reminded of this band. With posters, flyers and stickers in all number of places – Sisteray are quite literally getting their name out there. After a slow start due to a temperamental bass amp, the band didn’t keep us waiting too long and soon launched into their Indie assault. With a Libertine esk spirit, it is clear they musically live in each other’s pockets; tight and together throughout. Keen to deliver, their new single ‘A Wise Man Said’ is clearly not only appreciated by the likes of Phil Taggart on BBC Radio One but a beer fuelled North London crowd. Fronted by Niall Rowan, tambourine firmly in hand, Dan Connelly drives the band with a choppy, almost grungy guitar bringing light and shade to each track. Formed straight out of school, these are down to earth real tunes about real life. Late last year, and true to the nature of their music, Dan even found himself in the national media when he spoke out against his local MP in Walthamstow, Stella Creasy, voting for airstrikes in Syria. They really are inescapable at the moment so, if you see their name plastered along a wall, on a tube or lamppost, pop along to a show, you won’t be disappointed.

Rachel Young

PHOTO: Phoebe Fox

Rachel Young

Rachel Young

Likes: Ponchos, cornflakes and Almost Famous. Dislikes: Egg with any red food, Leicester's seagull population and having no ID.