LIVE: Lunar Vacation @ Moth Club, 11.05.2022

Having been completely addicted to last year’s debut album from Lunar Vacation – listening to it pretty much non-stop for the last six months – I was excited to finally see the Atlanta-based band live at Moth Club last Wednesday.

The night opens with the shimmering, uplifting grace of German band Roller Derby, and – as they treat the crowd to a mesmerising cover from their “favourite UK band”, I shimmy along to ‘Friday, I’m In Love’, and come to the realisation that I may have just discovered my new favourite band.

After introducing themselves – explaining that they had to get the ‘Chunnel’ to come over to the UK – Lunar Vacation begin their set with the blissful tones of ‘Peddler’, instantly captivating the crowd of adoring fans, as an endearing sense of excitement and joy radiates throughout the sparkling interior of Moth Club. Following the jangly musicality and swirling surf-pop energy of ‘The Basement’, Lunar Vacation ask “someone they met earlier today” to join them on stage – and so we’re introduced to Ella, a mega fan who seems to have learnt ‘Unlucky’ note-for-note and seems completely at ease joining the band on guitar for the entirety of the track’s twinkling romanticism.

Discussing the title of their album, Inside Every Fig Is A Dead Wasp, front person Grace explains that it is indeed a true fact – despite being a fruit, figs are not vegan, due to the amount of dead wasps you may accidentally come across when eating them. So, no more figs for me… Continuing to charm the crowd with both insightful knowledge and a dreamy musicality, the band ease into ‘Where Is Everyone?’ and ‘Mold’, flowing into each song with their trademark lilting hooks and stirring, sparkling emotion.

As Grace’s luscious crystalline vocals ripple alongside the cinematic instrumentation, I notice someone in the crowd literally do a little jump for joy… And it’s poignant just what a truly joyous atmosphere has been created. The front couple of rows are pretty much entirely made up of smiling femmes and queers; all swaying along, beaming, singing along to each and every word of Lunar Vacation’s glistening offerings. The kind of euphoric sense of unity I hope to create at the gigs I host for Get In Her Ears.

Following the gentle ethereal splendour of ‘No Offerings’, guitarist Maggie continues the endearing witty banter, revealing that Grace has always wished she was British, and was hoping that Alex Turner may have made an appearance tonight…

As the sweeping, mystical allure of tracks such as ‘Anna’ and ‘Gears’ floats through the venue with an exquisite heartfelt charm, I remain utterly immersed in Lunar Vacation’s knack for perfectly fusing together a beautiful, stirring melancholy with an uplifting, rapturous energy.

As the set draws to a close, the disappointment doesn’t last long as the band sneakily reappear a moment later to treat us to a little encore and – as the whimsical majesty of ‘Swimming’ glides into our ears – I’m left feeling utterly elated. Any worries or stresses I may have had on arriving at Moth Club tonight have floated away on the truly dreamy, radiant grace and heartwarming sense of unity that Lunar Vacation have created.


Mari Lane
@marimindles

LIVE: Bad Waitress @ Moth Club, 09.05.2022

I’ve been wanting to see Toronto band Bad Waitress live ever since first falling in love with the riotous power of last year’s single ‘Strawberry Milkshake’, followed by weeks of listening to epic debut album No Taste on repeat. So, it was with much excitement that I was able to catch Kali, Moon, Katelyn and Nicole opening for Brooklyn band Gustaf at Hackney’s Moth Club on Monday.

Kicking off the rather sweaty night, Bad Waitress immediately blast into the seething discordant splendour of ‘Rabbit Hole’ with an immense, gritty energy – no introduction needed. As frenzied, relentless riffs ricochet off the sparkling interior, I become instantly utterly immersed in their scuzzy, angst-driven power. As a ferocious energy propels ‘Lacerate’, Kali’s raw, impassioned vocals ring out with a fierce emotion, reminiscent of the legendary Brody Dalle. 

Continuing the set with racing, chaotic vigour, the band treat us to more hell-raisingly raucous – yet fuzzily catchy – offerings, such as wonderfully sinister punk anthem ‘Strawberry Milkshake’ and the eerily seductive allure of ‘Manners’. 

As Kali leads the band with an immense, raging drive, the rest of Bad Waitress captivate the crowd; whether it’s the quirky charisma of guitarist Katelyn as they deliver the most impressive of riffs, Moon pummelling the kit with an infectious shimmering energy, or the ethereal charm of bassist Nicole.

Nearing the end of the set, Bad Waitress treat us to one of their earliest singles ‘That Sedative’, before showcasing their versatility with the sweeping, sultry ferocity of ‘Delusions of Grandeur’ and fierce latest single ‘Spit It Out’.

After a year of being desperate to see this Toronto band live, they do not disappoint. I remain utterly spellbound by their seething, empowering cacophonies throughout. A truly epic experience.

(Kills Birds – with their colossal grunge-fuelled fuzz and immersive stage presence – were also incredible!)

Mari Lane
@marimindles

5 Things We Learned At Wide Awake Festival

Brockwell Park was buzzing with excited energy on Friday 3rd September, packed with hundreds of music fans keen to hear the sounds of the eclectic mix of underground talent who were booked to play Wide Awake‘s debut festival. Postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic last year, the appetite for hearing live music was unsurprisingly tenacious from the moment the festival gates opened and watching the crowds dance and sing along to the likes of IDLES, Goat Girl, black midi, Lena Willikens, Black Country, New Road and headliners shame gave us an overwhelming sense of joy (heavily aided by multiple cans of Red Stripe.)

We’ve condensed 10 hours of live music down to 5 key points that we’ve filtered through our GIHE lens and shared them with you below…

1. Self Esteem is a beacon of hope

Rebecca Lucy Taylor and her bandmates delivered a truly empowering set during their headline slot on the Moth Club stage, complete with a stunning light show and dancers too. When Taylor walked on stage with the words “But There Is Nothing That Terrifies A Man More Than A Woman That Appears Completely Deranged” lit up behind her silhouette, we knew we were in for a treat. Her powerful voice and relatable lyrics filled the tent with a sincere and playful joy.

2. Porridge Radio are great

We’re well aware most people already know this, but Brighton four piece Porridge Radio really impressed us with their stellar mid-afternoon performance on the Bad Vibrations stage. Fronted by captivating vocalist & lead guitarist Dana Margolin, the band ripped through their setlist full of indie bangers with impressive flair. We’ll definitely be catching them live again in the future.

3. Stumbling across a new favourite band feels just as good as re-visiting old favourites

We’ve missed the electric feeling that flows through your cells when you unexpectedly hear a great song in the distance by a new band you’ve never seen live before. Porridge Radio are a prime example here, but we also found ourselves drawn to the sounds of Snapped Ankles and The Murder Capital on the Moth Club stage, as well as Mandy, Indiana‘s set on the So Young stage. We were sad to miss Dream Wife, who had to cancel last minute due to contracting Covid-19, but GIHE favourites Goat Girl distracted us from this gap in the line-up with their charming yet brooding set on the main stage.

4. Brockwell Park is an ideal location for a music festival

We may be saying this solely because 2/3s of GIHE are based in South London, but Brockwell Park felt like the perfect location for a day of indie, leftfield and electronic music. Packed with independent food & drink stands as well as the main bars, it felt like we’d been transported out of London for the day when the sun was shining and the music was blaring from all directions.

5. We’ve really missed music festivals

From running into old friends, making new ones in the queues for the portaloos and generally just watching everyone else have a total blast, Wide Awake really made things feel “normal” again for a split second. We’re hoping that next year, everyone will feel confident enough to come back to Brockwell Park to sample some of the incredible bands and artists who made the festival feel as exciting and unique as it did this year.

Photo Credit: Luke Dyson (www.lukedyson.com)

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

FIVE FAVOURITES: TWEN

Nashville-via-Boston duo Twen are gearing up to support Seattle rockers TacoCat tomorrow night at Hackney’s Moth Club (29th Aug), and we’re convinced their celestial, angular sounds will impress their London crowd. Comprised of Jane Fitzsimmons and Ian Jones, Twen came to life over the space of two years as the duo toured the Boston DIY punk scene. Now, they’re getting ready to share their debut album Awestruck, which is set for release on 20th September via Frenchkiss.

We think one of the best ways to get to know a band is by asking what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with Jane to ask her about her “Five Favourites” – five albums that have influenced her songwriting techniques. Check out her choices below, and make sure you listen to Twen’s track ‘Baptism’ at the end of this post.

1. Central Heating – Heatwave
This is a classic that has stayed with me since I was 14. Before streaming, I would check out CDs at the library and rip them into my iTunes library. I found Heatwave while trying to listen to every funk/disco band I could find (thinking I could somehow listen to the whole genre). This whole album has a playfulness that packs some serious joy. The title track is the star of the show; the vocals are so strangely melodic but carry major rhythmic weight. I just love the concept of making people groove out with a vocal melody rather than the beat. Also the most silly and beautiful intro and outro I have yet encountered. James Guthrie (of Pink Floyd The Wall fame) produced this album, which I don’t really care about but something to note.

2. Bibio – À tout à l’heure 
I put this song on a mixed CD I made for Ian when we were sophomores in college. We would make so many mixes for each other, a different type of language than our early awkward convos. I would meticulously decorate them with sharpies and would spend hours deciding how to make the perfect “flow”. This was a song I found out he loved too, and he even knew how to play them to my amazement. The beyond beautiful and intricate finger-picking is so delicate but this song is a BANGER. The beat and funky bass line pair perfect with the acoustic layers and nonsensical lyrics (“À tout à l’heure”, French for “see you later”). There is such emotional and hypnotic value to this song, without making logical sense of it. Bibio still and always will have the best production sounds on the block, mixing analog and digital to make more of a sound tapestry than just a mere song.

3. Cocteau Twins – Heaven or Los Vegas
I found out about Cocteau Twins through my friend Matt, who DJ’d a college radio show called “Folk U” with me for two years. We had inherited the show and both slowly started to move out of the genre till Death Grips was playing. He played ‘Cherry-colored Funk’ and I nearly lost my damn mind, I had never heard anything so perfect. I read once that Elizabeth Fraser’s voice was ‘the voice of God’ and I don’t dispute it. Her ingenious melodies put me in a trance and make me feel like I’m understanding something outside words. Also, I have sweet memories with this album since it was one of the few albums I brought with me on an iPod on a trip to Iceland. I had gone by myself after college to camp 10 days in June when it’s daylight 22 hours a day (the only way I felt safe to camp by myself). I brought an old ass iPod that only had room for a few albums and this one of them. So, I listened the shit out of it while looking at the insane Icelandic landscape and I still love it.

4. Lijadu Sisters – Horizon Unlimited 
I had first heard the Lijadu sisters while working in a vegetarian restaurant in St. Louis, where I’m from. I had just moved back home for a quick quarter-life crisis. The owner and chef, Bay would sometimes make the playlists for the restaurant and loved blasting Lijadu Sisters. Being surrounded by an inspiring woman with a fountain of culinary creativity and listening to this album most days made a hard time a little less unbearable. The power of music. The beats and melodic riffs will make any day great and the two sisters feel exponentially BIG singing in unison. I really enjoy listening to music in different languages, it makes me notice the melodies better and the variety of vocal sounds possible that aren’t even used in English.

5. Mercyful Fate – Melissa 
I’m not super metal literate, but Mercyful Fate is THE metal band in my little world. On a tour probably a year ago (I only remember it was cold outside, they all start to blend together) a sound guy played this in the venue after the lights went on, probably to make everyone leave. A classic move. It made me want to STAY and to find out everything. Better known as King Diamond, this was his first band and Melissa is their first album. The vocal range is inhuman and the diversity of sounds that merely one person can make is an inspiration. Also I was raised Catholic, so hearing about covens and satanic rituals brings me a twisted joy.

Thanks to Jane for sharing their five favourites with us! Follow TWEN on Facebook for more updates.

Photo credit: Alexa Viscius