Late of the Pier

Wolverhampton was like a winter wonderland. The roads were icy, the buildings covered in snow, the air thick with white snow clouds, but inside the Wolves Civic Hall, hearts were melting. Tonight’s line up: Connan Mockasin, Micachu and the main act, Late of the Pier. I had been hassled non stop before tonight’s gig by my 14 year old sister back home for minute by minute analysis of the gig. She had bought me the Late of the Pier album for Christmas, which I had listened to on and off and had been impressed, so I was looking forward to seeing them live.

Connan Mockasin

One of my favourite things about going to gigs is discovering new talent and listening to new sounds. Tonight was one of those nights and I was not disappointed. First out was Connan Mockasin. Two words: quirky and funny. For the first minute or two, it wasn’t really clear if this was the first warm up act or a roadie tuning the guitars and testing out the mic, but as he broke into chorus, the audience started to quieten down. I wasn’t really sure what to make of Connan Mockasin. You couldn’t help but warm to the music and his character, but there didn’t seem to be much behind the actual songs. All in all a great live act with fluid improvisation, but it’s difficult to imagine any of these songs being made into a studio album.

Second up was Micachu, the real gem of the evening. Mica Levi, lead singer, had said in an interview that the name ‘Micachu’ had literally been a fusion of ‘Mica’ and the Pokemon character ‘Pikachu’ (don’t pretend you don’t all remember) and I’m sure you’ll all agree that any band named after a Pokemon character has to be worth checking out.

Micachu

Levi doesn’t have the loudest or most confident of voices and the guitar playing wasn’t great, but somehow, it all worked. The drums, keyboard and guitar all seemed to come together in a dirty harmony. The music was fast, slow, erratic, controlled, messy and melodic and that was just the first song. What was so clear from the set, was how tight Micachu were as a band and this is what made them so exciting to watch as well as listen to. Each member was so focused on the other’s instrument that the music just flowed. Micachu is definitely a band to look out for this year. Whether or not its music makes it into the mainstream is irrelevant. This band is brilliant.

Late of the PierLate of the Pier

The lights dimmed, the fans started screaming, boys included I hasten to add; Late of the Pier had arrived. From the outset the main singer said “Wolverhampton, you’re really up for it tonight” and proceeded to drag his mic and PA forward to be as close to the audience as possible. There’s an air of The Klaxons about the set up and general vibe of this band. It’s electro-pop at its best. They mainly stuck to their 2008 album release by playing hit songs such as ‘Space and the Woods’ and ‘Heartbeat’ and the audience loved it. Late of the Pier oozed style, passion and enthusiasm throughout and the night was topped off with a crowd surf by singer Samuel Eastgate, much to the fans’ delight. Watch out for this band in 2009.

Late of the Pier

Review & Photos – Sophie Stern

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