And so it was in Amsterdam when they sold out the small stage at the Melkweg in no time at all and already have a show at the main stage Paradiso lined up for early next year.
Never one to let a good bandwagon pass by without at least checking it out for myself, I staked out my spot early in what became a very packed venue, with a reasonably young average age. Which is as you might expect for a new/young band playing catchy synth-pop tunes.
The opening of the show was impressive and set the scene for the whole evening. Loud intro music, a smoke filled stage and coordinated flashing lights revved up the crowd and welcomed the band out to their dual keyboards which sat behind their own lighting stands, And a giant LED lit V sat centre stage behind the band.
I am not sure why but the first thing that I was struck by was how young their lead singer, Lauren Mayberry, is or at least looks. I had read a little bit about her before the show and had read the very interesting and fairly disturbing article she wrote for The Guardian (see here). She came across as smart, professional and very articulate woman and perhaps this is why I had pictured her as older. And perhaps she is and she is just one of those people blessed with a look that will still have them having to show ID well into their 30's,
The band went on to perform a really strong set. The whole thing was smooth and professional with great production, lighting, sound and the actual performance.
I really have nothing bad to say about the whole show and that's what makes it hard to explain why I also didn't really love it.
Perhaps there is the fact that at the end of the day synth-pop is not really my style music, although I would argue this normally impacts my feelings on an album far more than a live show.
I think what would have swayed me more, would have been if they got the crowd to go nuts. I felt that for 85% of the show people observed with good interest and for 15% of the time they really got into it. If the whole crowd had have been dancing and/or singing along for the majority of the show I think I would have been more sold. My highlight would have been when Martin Doherty came out from behind his keyboard to sing one song and his energy really upped the tempo of the night.
Despite not loving it, I really did enjoy myself and I can say with all sincerity that I hope they do become the next big thing. Pop music isn't for everyone but by definition it is for a whole lot of people. And if one day I have a daughter, I would love her to have a pop music role model like Lauren Mayberry over most of the other current female pop stars, so I wish her and the band nothing but the best.