The Naked and Famous, Heaven, London

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The Independent Culture

"Big in New Zealand" is not always a badge of honour, but in the case of The Naked and Famous we might have an exception. They've had loads of number ones back in the mother country, and they now seem to be over here for good, intent on bothering daytime playlists up and down the land.

Considering their level of fame back home, opening number "Punching in a Dream" is curiously hesitant and unpolished. They are do the daring thing by kicking off with their most recognisable single, a fist-pumping song so chart-ready it's practically a three-minute chorus, but it falls short of the mark, not hitting any of the heights it certainly possesses.

Indeed, despite all their promise, they do not cover themselves in glory tonight. Behind this slightly iffy performance lurks a potentially wonderful band, for whose forthcoming debut album we have vertiginously high hopes. On this display though, those hopes do not rest: the sound is unclear, and the singing largely buried in the sludge.

The clouds burst intermittently, normally at times when singer Alisa Xayalith is allowed off her leash. She's especially impressive on "Girls Like You", which comes late on in the set, and which sees her suddenly developing the confidence to make herself heard.

By the time "Young Blood" rolls around, they are firing on a few more cylinders, finding a more demonstrative voice and looking closer to the stadium rock stars they have the songs to be. It's the only song that really busts the crowd's chops: the yeah-oh-yeah-oh-yeahs of the chorus are inescapably huge.

They are not intricate, and they aren't heavyweight, but they know exactly how to play to the big tent. If all goes perfectly to plan, we could see a Snow Patrol-style trajectory – they're shamelessly pop, and if they can just sort their sound out, we will no doubt all be thoroughly sick of them come summer.

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