Is Tropical @ The Bodega, Nottingham 23/09/11
October 2, 2011 by Daniel Gill
I unfortunately missed Is Tropical last time they came to Nottingham, which was the Dot to Dot festival back in May. After eagerly anticipating their debut album ‘Native To’ and being a bit disappointed when I finally got my hands on it, I was convinced they could win me over with a live performance. Fortunately for me, I was right.
The turnout was quite surprising as there must have been around forty people there. There were kids at front who looked like it was their first time in town after 7:00pm trying to start the tiniest rave pit ever. There were couples dotted around who didn’t know whether to dance or stand still and then there were pockets of students darted around relishing there chances to show off this months trash fashion, trying to get the bands attention and acceptance.
The support came from local Nottingham band Library Music who couldn’t have been more different to their predecessors. They played some chilled out indie tunes and held their own on stage considering no one expected a band like this to warm up for Is Tropical. After the warm up band finished, the Bodega filled up some more and the rave kids were stuck to the barrier of the stage looking around with glazed eyes for tonight’s main event to enter the room.
The band came on dressed like The Warriors in the wild west and kicked the show off with ‘South Pacific’. The small group of rave kids went mental pushing each and dancing convulsively but completely out of time with the song. There was something so heart warming about it, and the band definitely thought this as singer Gary Barber shouted out ‘We love you guys’ specifically to them after the first couple of songs.
It was interesting to see the many different types of equipment on stage which ranged from a vocal processor to a Korg sampler. It was also interesting to see how some of the electronic beats from the album would sound live played by drummer Dom Apa. At the start of the gig you could see him making hand signals to the sound guy getting him to turn up the drum levels so he could unleash the true power of them. After this slight problem was solved and Dom seemed happy, he gave it all he had for ‘Oranges’. The drums could of not have sounded more ferocious and this song was a true highlight of the gig.
After playing my personal favourite ‘When O When’ (which a lot of the crowd didn’t really know) and internet sensation ‘The Greeks’. The band closed with instrumental electro body bopper ‘Seasick Mutiny’ which had everyone dancing for one last time. There was even dancelike movement in the awkward couples for the first time in the night.
The band then left with a well deserved applause and a token of appreciation for the kids at the front when Simon Milner handed them his guitar to hold onto until a crew member swiped it off them. I left the building humming along to the keys of ‘Seasick Mutiny’ and an urge to listen to ‘Native To’ as soon as I got home.