Local Natives, Peggy Sue
As the three piece �Peggy Sue' take to the stage, it's clear tonights audience are willing to be won over. The Brighton indie folk troupe play the 'tom drums and harmonies' styling's (so popular at the moment) with tonnes of charm. But loads of charm and nice ideas does not automatically equal great tunes. Sounding like Julie Doiron via Mumford & Sons with a few carnival moments thrown in, the intent is there but there's nothing that memorable in their set and it verges into the murky waters of mediocre. All their better songs seem to be prefixed with "this is a new tune", so perhaps all is not lost yet. The crowd lap it up though and I guess it's been an entertaining (if a rather indifferent) listen.
Where 'Peggy Sue' left you searching for the song in their vague noise, Local Natives show that if you cram enough hooks into a song, you can force any mind to repeat it involuntarily. With their heavily percussive sound and sheer enthusiasm on stage, it's hard to be apathetic towards this band. Reverb washed harmonies, duelling tom drums and glorious guitar lines - it's all so perfectly thought out and performed.
Having only released their debut album, most people in attendance seem to know the majority of songs from the set. The biggest crowd reaction goes to their current single 'Airplanes', which is home to a melody and harmony that reminds me a little too much of East 17. But gems like 'Wide Eyes', 'World News' , 'Camera Talk' and their glorious cover of Talking Heads 'Warning Sign' had me singing along with a grin from cheek to cheek.
Belfast is the last date of their European tour, and where I've witnessed others muddle along through the end of tours, Local Natives are intent on going out in a bang. Any questions whether they could reproduce such a polished album live have been obliterated. The only thing I can really fault them for is being a little too perfect and studied, leaving me to yearn for a moment of �rawness'. They probably won't change the world, but they're soothing it while we wait for the next revolution.