LIVE PREVIEW: Penguins Rising

‘Sshh’ fronts Penguins Rising with a distinct commanding presence, and strikes a unique image with her moves and voice. Her partner in crime, Zak Starkey, is the other half of this equation, having formed Penguins Rising with Sshh in 2013.

Vocals one part Siouxsie, one part Kate Bush and two parts all her own, Sshh is a unique character who looks comfortable in her skin on stage, and rocks the casual punk influenced style with her striking looks and lanky frame. Sshh’s vocals are strong, dynamic and confident, managing to be heard even above crowd noise and through typically dodgy club PA speakers.

Accomplished all-round musician, Zak Starkey (The Who, Oasis), is on guitar, playing with precise rhythms and then locking into the drums like a bassist – simple yet dynamic, with a slightly crunchy pop/rock punk sound. Bassist Dale Davies delivers a heavy punk funk foundation, always pumping the groove, which makes the songs not only “in your face” as described by singer Sshh, but danceable as well.

Having shared the stage in 2014 with Kasabian and Beady Eye, Penguins Rising is a tight live show with a flare for the dramatic, and a singer that often disregards audience-performer boundaries. Penguins Rising’s set will include: ‘Extra Extra’ – an eerily relevant tune about the ‘68 riots in Paris, ‘Simplifi’ – a self-proclaimed “testimony of groove”, ‘Space Invader’ – an expression in punk rock pogo, and others suitable for an upbeat evening of mayhem. With influences ranging from The Sex Pistols to Aphex Twin, to Primal Scream, Penguins Rising deliver songs that are accessible from the first listen and give a live show that’ll make you happy you braved the London cold.

Penguins Rising will headline a Playhard Gigs show this Friday January 23rd, supported by The Valves, Bad Wolf, China White, Tony Steele and the Massacre and DJ Seye at The Phoenix in London. This indie rock night will feature loads of swagger, loud guitars and even a touch of bluesy harmonica.



Mari Lane

Mari Lane

Editor, London. Likes: Kathleen Hanna, 6Music, live music in the sunshine. Dislikes: Sexism, pineapples, the misuse of apostrophes.