Cults @ White Heat, Madame JoJo’s London 22/02/2011

February 28, 2011 by  

At the risk of driving this copy into derivative buzz-band drivel, it must be said that the American duo Cults are about as ‘buzzy’ as they come. Just two hours before they were set to play their first ever headline show in the UK, the powers that be over at MTV and Pitchfork début a video for their first UK single, Go Outsdie. That might not sound that impressive, but when you consider it was made by the producers of MTV as part of a new showcase series and features Emma Roberts and Dave Franco, you kind of get the sense of the hype surrounding these two long haired kids from New York, oh and they are also Lilly Allen’s first signings.

Undeterred, the duo take to the stage with an accompaniment of equally long-haired college drop outs, which the leading couple affectionately describe as their own ‘cult’. Unfortunately for them, the sound in Madame Jojo’s doesn’t quite carry Madeline Follin’s angelic ’60s vocal harmonies and Brian’s C86 meets goth guitar. The intricacies of their sound are at times inaudible, but their strong pop-aesthetic does manage to shine through, giving a tantalising glimpse of what the duo have to offer.

At first they appear firmly rooted in the sound of ’60s soul and Mowton, but as their set progresses onto ‘The Curse’ it’s clear the duo see the often cited genre through an altered lens, which is mainly due to Brian’s penchant for dark, almost gothic guitar sounds.

By the time they reach the track that made them the darlings of the Blogosphere last summer, Go Outisde, the harmonies and guitars finally come together and as Madeline seductively swishes her skirt to the glockenspiel chimes, Cults clearly give the impression that they warrant the hype that has surrounded them for the past six months.


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