Saturday, 9 July 2011

Live: Junior Boys @ XOYO (30/06/11)

I was so not up for this gig. There were a number of reasons for this;
a) It was a Thursday night and since becoming a teacher I am beyond tired.
b) Getting home past midnight having had no time to eat and after a couple of drinks means I would buy fried chicken from one of the two hundred grimey fast food joints in East London on the way back. This can never be a good thing.
c) Newest release 'It's All True' was a bit of a disappointment for me; a flat and depressing album with no real stand-out tracks.

But... Junior Boys won me over. This is a band that has to be heard live over the record. Whether this is simply down to the sheer volume in the venue or whether they add a certain energy that is lost in the recording studio is debatable. What I do know is that each track played from the new album was transformed into a 80s inspired banger, with subtle guitars and whispered vocals resting behind pacey synth lines. The new found immediacy of the tracks may be down to my numerous forced listens of the album prior to the gig, but Junior Boys really did have something about them. Their blatent 80s sound almost reminds me of New Order but with tracks occasionally breaking into long minimal techno passages. These are welcomed with whoops and finger pointing from the crowd, adding to XOYO's club-like atmosphere.

Now for the real reason the Canadian duo earned a place in my heart. Not only did they play the exceptional 2006 single 'In The Morning' but also my personal favourite 'Teach Me How To Fight' from debut album 'Last Exit'. I'm not sure of the details but this was possibly originally written with previous member Johnny Dark. Either way, this song is mint. The live rendition added another level, combining a dubstep inspired wobble to the backing. Glorious.

It was definitely worth popping into the city on a Thursday night.


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