Chew Lips @ The Lexington, London 23/06/09

June 30, 2009 by  

chew-lips

Chew Lips are the latest electro pop band to be sucked into the vacuum of the buzz band rumour mill. The trouble with this level of attention is as much as it elevates bands to a platform for success, it shines a persistent spot lamp that glares unfalteringly, revealing blemishes in its cruel gaze. Tonight Chew Lips are launching their new single, ‘Salt Air’ at the Lexington, and I’m keen to see how they fare.

The Lexington is an excellent boozer with a top notch gig calendar on the Pentonville Road. Downstairs you can get yourself a bloody decent beer, choose from a huge range of bourbons, and then go settle yourself upstairs to get your ears tickled by something great.

Chew Lips consist of singer Tigs, and two youngish chaps, who have their keyboards set up back to back like a game of electro battleships. Not content with playing just the one instrument, they’ve got a guitar and a bass and somehow manage to play all of it without dropping the ball. Good.
Snapped up for a single release by the label that can do no wrong, Kitsuné, Chew Lips have led something of a charmed existence, going from brand spanking new to top of the blogs in barely a year. Their pecker was given a perk at the start of the year with Steve Lamacq tipping them for big things and saying their demo was the strongest of the crop he’d heard. It seems slightly generous praise, bands of quality in this style are hardly unusual, and for my money, Dead Pixels have been doing this better for longer.

Singer Tigs is a pretty little songbird, but as a front person is, well, plain annoying. Her stage chat is trite, and consists of her lamenting how she’s having a horrible day, but doesn’t know why. Seemingly she assumes that someone cares. Affected she may be, but her rich voice makes up for it and she undeniably has a presence on the stage. ‘Twin Galaxies’ is a tense electro disco track with a Karen O style vox and sounds effects straight out of the Atari noise bank. Single ‘Solo’ is a sure fire winner although lacks some oomph in the production, but tonight, live, it fares better, as a rousing end to a mostly promising set.

For a band who has only been knocking about for a year they’ve got a decent live show, but it seems they’re swinging on the success of a couple of tunes. It’s hard to say if they’ve got the smarts to come out on top until a few miles down the tracks when they’ve bolstered their songbook, but if they can keep themselves in the cashmere pockets of Kitsuné, they’ve got themselves a pretty sweet ride.

By Hannah Lanfear


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