Cults, XOYO, London
Cults are a boy-girl couple, who studied film in New York and started making catching indie-pop on the side. Yes, they are as young, and cool, as one might expect. Darlings of the blogosphere, their career launched almost by accident after they posted a few tracks that showcased just what a good match Sixties girl-group pop layered with reverb and synth could be. They were snapped up by Lily Allen's label – she's in the audience tonight – but while their first album didn't disappoint, this show did.
That album, a briskly accessible 11 tracks that each barely stray over the three-minute mark, is also entitled Cults. Alas, that name seems ironic tonight: it is rare to encounter such an un-bothered audience – they barely clap an encore, for a set all of 45 minutes long. This doesn't go unnoticed. The male half of Cults, guitarist Brian Oblivion, deadpans: "Let's all have as much fun as we can." Ouch.
While he and frontwoman Madeline Follin, plus backing band, don't exactly work up a sweat trying to endear themselves to us, I have some sympathy. The gig is marred by truly terrible sound: not only murky, but blighted by full-on feedback on almost every track. The vocals are hard to make out – although this is also partly to do with Follin's voice, sugar-sweet and charming on record, straining on some higher notes.
Despite this, Cults still have some irresistible tracks: "Never Heal Myself" demands a girlish hip-sway, with its distinctive glockenspiel melody (no, really, they do a very fine line in tinkling, plinking, catchy glock). "Never Saw the Point" is also brilliantly hooked, with a soulful stomp, mirrored in Follin's pony-ish stamping, eyes closed, mouth plummily pouted, long hair all a-swish. And their biggest hit, "Go Outside" – a breezy yearn for a breath of fresh air – is a stand-out.
The final track, "Oh My God", should have been too: it's a bouncy, bubbly thing of beauty, but it fails to connect fully, even when Oblivion picks up a projector – which had been showing a black and white film, obviously – and shines it on the crowd. Sadly, however, Cults fail to shine much light on their own music.
Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treattv
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Toddler throws a tantrum at the White House – in front of Barack Obama
- 2 Irish people are travelling home from all over the world so they can vote to legalise gay marriage
- 3 Picture of couple posing with beached dolphin 'that later died' causes outrage
- 4 16-year-old girl beaten and burned alive by lynch mob in Rio Bravo, Guatemala
- 5 Witch doctor arrested after forcing newborn baby to walk in Indian village
Cannes Film Festival rejects women from red-carpet screening of pro-LGBT romance 'Carol' for not wearing high heels
'We didn't really think we'd get away with it': The astonishing story of how two young Irish men completed an audacious £7m art heist
Game of Thrones rape scene criticised as 'disgusting' by US senator Claire McCaskill who says she's 'done' with show
Eurovision Song Contest 2015 final: As Google celebrates the competition with a Doodle, here are 7 things you might not know
Beyonce angers fans by pouring expensive champagne into hot tub in Nicki Minaj 'Feeling Myself' video
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland