It’s 38° and London is melting. Shops are closing and offices are sending their staff home early from work in fear that the soaring temperatures will induce feinting spells across the city.
In Clapham however, in the small confines of Lion Coffee Records, a small but intimate crowd of students and promotors litter the street pavement, sipping on Aperol Sprits and rubbing shoulders and sharing banter with the bands that they have gathered here to see perform.
The small, independent record store and café-come-bar is beyond sweltering inside but that doesn’t stop the eager crowd from enjoying a lo-fi set.
SEX CELLS are a pagan, bubble-gum synth pop dream, hailing from Peckham in London. The duo have been playing a string of gigs across the city on the back of their recent release, ‘Are you Ready?’ on Pretty Ugly records.
Crammed into a tiny corner of the coffee shop and using only a small coffee table to precariously balance their Korg and Roland drum machines on, the pair played a seamless short set of glitchy pop music, featuring stand out tracks such as ‘Modern Witchcraft’, hello The Prodigy, circa Music for the Jilted Generation and ‘Hell is where the Heart Is’ which is more akin to Devo meets Suicide.
Matt Kilda – who resembles a much younger and slender Karl Barrat and Willow Vincent – a sexy woodland sprite witch, with blossom clad head gear and a chic, floor length nightdress are definitely ones to watch.
The main reason however why everyone has packed themselves into such a tiny venue this evening risking chronic dehydration, is to see Glaswegian stalwarts, Walt Disco. A band who ooze finesse, angular jawlines and haircuts that would make even Karl Lagerfeld go weak at the knees.
After some initial technical issues with getting a projector to work, the quintet, open the show by showcasing the music video for ‘Past Tense’. “Made by guys that are much cooler than me” croons front man James Potter, and although the video is streaming on the roof the crowed are instantaneously transfixed.
With the catchy summer imbued synth, starkly offset by the guttural, hollowed out haunting drawl of Potter, who’s voice is similar to Anohni (formerly of Anthony & the Johnsons) but with the tenacity and voracity of Bowie, the room is brought to a standstill.
As the track comes to a stop the boys emerge right on que, from a tiny backroom and delve right into ‘My Pop Sensibilities’ a song that instantly doffs its cap in equal measure to Madonna and Echo & the Bunnymen.
It’s in this weird art-house juxtaposition that Walt Disco seem to feel the most comfortable, somewhere in between, androgyny and outer space and it’s instantly infectious.
‘Strange to Know Nothing’ perfectly encapsulates the raucous baritone of Potter whilst fully allowing the rest of the band to swagger through the songs, moody synth changes and crunch of the debauched guitars.
The boys hurtle through the stripped back set at break neck speed and finish with ‘Dancing Shoes Won’t Fix My Mind’ a surly necromancers waltz through a graveyard disco. With heavy reverb and angular guitar riffs that would make Lux Interior quake in his boots, it’s a fine tune to literally watch the sweat drip from the walls.
Speaking kerbside afterwards Potter told Side-F that we should ‘Hear us plugged in’ and that us what we fully intend to do. Catch them at Edinburgh’s Mash House on October 17th, Dundee Church 18th October or Aberdeen’s Café Drummond on 19th of October.