Not Squares, Logic Party
With the crowd only separated from the bands' equipment by a thin strip of lighting, the feeling for the launch of Not Squares' much anticipated debut album is that tonight is going to be as much of a party as it is a gig. And when label mates Logikparty kick off in a spiky burst of cool, focused attitude, this proves to be the case indeed.
Self-confessed post-punk and no wave addicts from Dublin, the band formed just over a year ago and their abrasive, minimalist sound draws on all these influences - think a bit early Sonic Youth with added groove - but what really draws attention is singer Benni's brilliant stage presence. She may screech and shriek - it's an incredible sound while possessing the ability to sing as well - and stomp around in front of the otherwise nonchalant band, but it's enigmatic. Curling up in the microphone lead in a mess of black hair and looking slightly reminiscent of Karen O, it compliments the stark backdrop of the other band members and towards the end of the set it never tires but remains a commanding performance.
Such energy is needed to get ready for Not Squares and the setting is ideal: hot, low ceilinged and ringed with people just a couple of feet away from the band. Having already gathered a reputation for their performances such as Glasgowbury earlier this year as well as Reading and Leeds, the slow, crackling build-up to opener ï¿½Release The Beesï¿½ teases out this excitement, and it's already energetic when gathering up the same pace to move on to ï¿½Don't Do Nothingï¿½.
Considering the band were slightly more low key when they started a couple of years ago, their move from art-rock band tinged with dance to a full on force of thrilling, punky electro is something of a revelation. While at times they could verge on something akin to Boys Noize or Erol Alkan's ï¿½Lemonade' (such as ï¿½In Frontï¿½) it's important to remember that they're ultimately musicians first and not producers, and the switching between synths to bass and maintaining this momentum is what sets them apart.
Despite drummer Keith admitting that they may have had a few before coming on, this has had absolutely no effect whatsoever and the band remain technically brilliant and on point throughout the set. Most importantly, they look like they're enjoying the gig, matching the already well enthused, dancing, sweaty pit of a crowd, only calming it down once for a track that Keith describes as having a ï¿½laid back, disco vibeï¿½.
With everyone already singing ahead of the punchy, vocal hook on ï¿½Asylumï¿½, it's an altogether impressive set that ends memorably. Not Squares are deserving of whatever praise they're surely going to get for Yeah OK!, undoubtedly.