It’s a good sign when a band sells out a venue so quickly that they have to add a matinee show to accommodate demand. However, that then presents the issue of a matinee show itself. A weird event, usually favoured by theatre and cinemas, which relies on a crowd entirely devoid of alcohol (especially at this all ages show) and filled with the enthusiasm usually favoured by the spectacularly drunk. Tonight’s (today’s?) gig is a slightly more sombre affair than usual, with doors opening at 4.30 in broad daylight, with the downstairs of the pub filled with people finishing off their long lunches.
Luckily, upstairs is a different matter, filled to capacity with excitable teens donning various degrees of oversized denim and peace-emblazoned clothing. The band set the stage up themselves, which is a surprising reminder that despite Peace being on the lips of just about every music journalist working today, this is still a relatively small show. The band momentarily leave the stage, before the lights cut out and they make their slightly more grand entrance, and are met with fervent applause that dies down just before they’re ready to kick into opener, Ocean’s Eye.
A moment’s silence is a gentle warning of what’s to come, which is a lengthy amount of silence and awkward chit-chat between each of the songs. It’s unclear whether this is a genuine pause, or whether they’re trying to fill the set time, as despite having some really brilliant, instantly enjoyable and irritatingly catchy songs to choose from, there aren’t that many of them. Following Ocean’s Eye, one of the highlights from their debut EP Delicious, the band play early single Follow Baby and it’s b-side Lil’ Echo, before showcasing the relatively-unknown track Wraith, the only song on their setlist to have not been recorded and released.
California Daze provides a welcome break for the band and audience, and gives singer Harrison time to properly address the crowd beforehand, commenting on the “sartorial disaster” that was his turtleneck jumper in the sweaty venue, and thanking them all profusely for making it to an afternoon show. Ending on a would-be encore of 1988 (Delicious) and Bloodshake, the band make use of their trademark confetti canon and depart graciously from the stage. Whilst their short set definitely showcased what the band are capable of, the atmosphere and energy of previous shows was somewhat lost in the matinee setting, and it would have been really nice to hear some of the new material for the album.