Live Review: Lyrebirds, Camden Barfly, 5th May

Catherine Gordon
Thursday 13 May 2010 09:53
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In recent years the rise of the indie bands that ironically ‘share’ the same sound as Manchester legends, Joy Division, isn’t something that instantly springs originality to my ears. The first of this sad bunch, and I mean sad in the non-contemporary form (or not), was the hideous Joy Division impersonators, The Editors. Singing songs about not knowing “love like they used to”, could marriage to Radio One DJ Edith Bowman be that bad? They shamelessly dance, sing, and fashion everything (apart from the epileptic fits) that is Ian Curtis, this can only fill me with resent.

Then came White Lies, who then tried the whole deep voice, miserable lyrics and dismal guitar riffs, and who, once again, copied Joy Division. Then prior to this there was the lovely Interpol, who did the whole Joy Division thing, but made a few honest mistakes with bad lyrics, and a bad front man- though this was made up by the plucky bassist Carlos D. Interpol managed to pull it off without being too cringe, and so after all that we now have the Lyrebirds.

With any serious musician, or band, there’s the probability that they get quite irritated about the comparisons to their better known peers, and of course, and personally I can’t stand anything worst when you see a rip off act (cough- The Editors -cough), but standing in this half full/half empty venue I was blissfully entertained. The best thing was the unforeseen buzz; this Camden hangout was lacking in numbers, but all that seemed irrelevant when the room filled up with an incredible sound.

Singer, Adam Day, struts around with his leathers, a swagger akin to Richard Ashcroft, and there’s something quite New York about them, something a bit Oasis; raw, angry and pleasing. Familiarity with songs Closer, and Catalyst, comes across as genuine, and (not to sound too naff here but...) spirited. This is the best type of music of the sombre genre that The Editors didn’t manage to pull off (have I mentioned them before?), and the type that White Lies wanted to recreate but failed, because they are, to put it kindly, a bad cover version.

Word on the street was that the producer Steve Street (The Smiths, Blur, and yes that pun was intended) has helped this five piece from the word go, and queue a polite song dedication to Mr Street during the show.

After seeing a packed out show previously at the Barfly for a hyped band it gets you thinking how blindly we follow music, from front covers to the radio, and hands up, I’m one of them. But some faith has been revived after this gig, and as lame as it sounds, I felt enlightened. Compared to the aforementioned bands they all seem like debris compared to these boys.

Catch them Friday at Brighton’s Great Escape festival.

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