First and foremost it has to be clarified that this gig was incredibly hot. So hot in fact that the peroxide in the mohawk of the slightly terrifying woman in front of me oozed out and dripped over her ears. The heat did however produce an anxious mood in the waiting audience, so when Chapel Club did finally emerge, it was like a cool breeze rolling off stage. Too poetic?
With no preamble the band launched into ‘Scared’, one of the new tracks. We say launched; they sort of sachéd into it. ‘Scared’ is joyfully flat and ambling, and a perfect example of the direction Chapel Club is taking these days. When they first appeared around 2008, they piomneered a grungy guitar electro sound, now it’s all synthy good-vibrations beach disco, and it’s fantastic.
Frontman Lewis Bowman is a crooner, and as creepy as that might sound, it really works. His far off voice echoes over every track, giving what would be quite a sparse arrangement a much richer sound.
About mid-way through, Bowman announced that they were going to take it ‘a little darker’, and they did a bit, but ‘Sleep Alone’ has the same lounge disco vibe as everything else, the drums were a bit more offensive though, and in the heat of the club a little wake-up call is warmly (pun) received.
The set seemed to be organised so each track was bigger than the last; a wonderful rendition of ‘Surfacing’ with a re-worked intro was followed by ‘All the Eastern Girls’ and the playful epic crescendo of ‘Good Together’ was the perfect way to finish.
Chapel Club’s newest material is by far some of their best, and the music they’re creating right now is relevant, engaging and innovative. We strongly urge you to go see them.