Taking to the stage in an apparent uniform of black skinny jeans and either a black or stripy top, Bright Young People almost instantly establish themselves as a rock band – and it doesn’t take long to prove they have the sound to match. With steady beats and heavy vocals, the three-piece produce a sound far beyond what you’d expect. Intrigued by their raw and heavy, but somehow simultaneously very refined, sound, the room began to fill up. And the band played up to their audience.
Despite the strange mix of suit-wearers, indie kids and the Libertines’ Gary Powell, Bright Young People perfected the balance between suitably sultry, and entertaining, and by the end of the set everyone was – voluntarily or not – bobbing their head or tapping their feet. They played with a relentless energy, and whilst a private members club in Covent Garden isn’t the most rock ‘n’ roll setting for a gig, they continued to play with a commitment that would not be out of place at the likes of Brixton Academy.
Before long, it was time for Bright Young Things to leave the stage and make way for The Bulletproof Bomb. A strange transition from a three-piece to a five-piece, and much younger than Bright Young People, The Bulletproof Bomb seemed unfazed by the talent that came before them – and quite rightly so. With a tambourine and a youthful carelessness, the band brought something entirely different. A mishmash of a host of bands – Mystery Jets, Maccabees, Jamie T and Franz Ferdinand all came to mind – the band clearly take a number of influences and blend them all into their own sound.
It’s summery and playful, with mid-song instrument switches and jokes about having to buy their single so they spend less time at the job centre, but with the strength behind the music (and perhaps the organ sounds coming from the keyboard) it’s almost cinematic at times. Despite their age, The Bulletproof Bomb are fully aware of what they’re doing and, whilst teasing the borders of arrogance, they play up the attitude to match. This clearly works to their favour as the audience – although presumably a collection of friends – demanded an encore before the band were allowed to leave the stage.