Following a host of amazing bands playing for us throughout 2019, including Screaming Toenail, Salad, GENN, Chorusgirl, Witching Waves and CLT DRP, we were back at The Finsbury on Friday for our first gig of the year, with another dream of a line-up, for a jam-packed night of the best live music.
Kicking things off is the dreamily delightful ‘heartland rock’ of newly formed Athabaska. Alternating between the impassioned, crystalline vocals of Faith Taylor (Suggested Friends) and the delicate emotion of those of bassist Roxy, they treat us to a heart-warming shimmering folk-strewn musicality and luscious sweeping harmonies.
Next up Nun Habit deliver their fuzzy, infectious garage pop with a unique, quirky energy. With shades of the jangly synth-driven soul of the likes of Young Fathers, whether guitarist Gregory or bassist Kate is leading the vocals, they ooze a vibrant spirit and immersive, sparkling charisma.
One of my ‘Ones To Watch’ for 2020, London trio Hurtling are third band of the night. With their sun-drenched whirring hooks and the swirling subtle power of Jen Macro’s (My Bloody Valentine) distinctive effervescent vocals, they deliver their fuzz-filled noise-pop anthems with a captivating, psychedelic haze.
I’ve been keen to see headliners Personal Best for a while now, and they definitely don’t disappoint. With a joyous punk-rock energy, their “classic rock for tragic lesbians” fills the venue with adoring fans as immense, frenetic riffs are blasted out alongside pure pop harmonies and a sparkling energy. Drawing the night to a memorable close, front person Katie Gatt dedicates their set closer to the queer community. As a sea of buoyant voices joins in with “I wanna kiss you in the street, where everyone can see… ’cause this is what we look like”, the poignancy of the lyrics in these uncertain times is overwhelming, and an empowering sense of unity takes hold as the crowd heaves with bodies dancing and singing in solidarity. A really special end to what’s been a night filled with the most life-affirming vibes.
Massive thanks to the four incredible bands who played for us on Friday, and to all who came down and completely packed out the venue! Be sure to join us next month on 14th February, with Piney Gir, Grawl!x, Captain Handsome and I Am Her.
Words: Mari Lane / @marimindles
Photos: Jon Mo / @jonmophoto