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Live Review: Tall Ships, Men, Tangled Hair - Old Blue Last, London - 13/6/2010

A Sunday night rarely sees many people heading out for gigs, especially with a World Cup match kicking off at 7.30. But tonight was different, by the time Tangled Hair came on stage Old Blue Last was nearing capacity for tonight’s free show put on by BSM records.

After giving the news that James Trood behind the drum kit was very ill, it was a mystery how he managed to get through the set, the whole time looking like he was either going to be sick or actually drop dead at any second. But illness aside the stand-out part of this band is the absolute beat machine that is Trood, leading with heavily complicated and intricate rhythms. The instrumental sections are where the band shines, delivering a melodic and more mature taste of British math pop.

MEN were up next, with short bursts of high energy punk that seemed to begin and end before anyone had time to really get a grasp of them. Not to take away from the quality of their sound, fast, rough and just in time for a summer sing-a-long. The Dual vocals of Jem and Mike are when the band is at their strongest.

Tall Ships have been causing quite a stir after the release of their self titled EP earlier in the year. So it was no surprise that when they finally arrived on stage the venue was filled wall to wall, making Old Blue Last quite a sweaty affair.

Tonight each member couldn’t help but smile stepping on to their first headline London show. They duly delivered in crafting a set that was simply awe-inspiring, creating huge tracks that built and progressed with a series of layering and looping that the crowd couldn't help but bop and sway to. Stand out EP tracks ‘Books’ and ‘Words Are Pegs Upon Which We Hang Ideas’ were met by familiar ears. Received with a great reception, new tracks were played and seemed just as powerful, producing epic moments of pure genius, complex layering of synths and elaborate mathy, and at times post rock riffs saw the band unleash a set that showed confidence and maturity.

‘Vessels’ ended the set, as the crowd picked up the end lines of the song and sung them back to the band. After this performance it will be no surprise when, after the release of their second EP Tall Ships will be the band on the tip of everyone’s tongues, a great night that really showcased the quality of the latest BSM signings.

Connor O'Brien

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