EartH, the new face of an old Savoy cinema in Hackney, is the exciting new baby on the London music scene, and tonight it’s filled with adorers as Sunflower Bean roll into town, proclaiming, “this feels like home, London…every time.”
Before the show a conversation is overheard; “so, what type of music do they do?” “Erm, well…kind of indie, kind of punk and maybe a bit glam-rock?” That seems to be Sunflower Bean’s main strength – to give a nod to so many of their influences in a way that sounds amazingly coherent, rather than muddled.
Julia Cumming is the charismatic frontwoman that embodies these mixed notions, and to such cool effect. Her peroxide-rinsed Joan Jett haircut, Debbie Harry make-up and 80s pointed shoulders means she is the ultimate in postmodern heroinism. Her voice flickers between devastatingly beautiful on ‘Twentytwo’, to punk queen on ‘Crisis Fest’, as she demands the London crowd to punch the air at each “No! No! No!”
In alongside Cumming is the floaty presence of guitarist Nick Kevlin. Both dazzled in silk shirts that ripple in the stage-lights, aptly accentuating the silkiness between them and their onstage connectivity. They constantly dance towards and around each other, waving their guitars as if in some friendly duel. 'I Was Home' displays this understanding between the pair, the crowd go wild for the tightness between them in what sounds like one long psychedelic jam session.
On ‘I Was A Fool’, Kevlin’s smooth voice is given a brilliant muffled texture as he sings into an old telephone – exactly the experimental side to the Bean that is so energising. This is one of the best live acts we have seen all year, second album Twentytwo In Blue and new single ‘Come For Me’ have not only elevated by expanded what was already a massive sound.
The togetherness that flows through the crowd as ‘Only A Moment’ reverberates around EartH as they sing together, “you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be”. Tonight at least, they are.