The Like @ The Old Blue Last, London 05/05/2010

May 9, 2010 by  

Starting at 10pm after no support acts in the intimate Old Blue Last pub in ‘trendy’ Shoreditch, four L.A. women bounced onstage with youthful energy. Playing to around 200 or so people, including indie favourites Farris from The Horrors and Jamie from Klaxons, The Like have picked up a new audience, and rumour has it, they’re about to become big.

Under their original line-up, The Like had been rumbling under the radar for several years in the UK, but a re-shuffle and a change in direction from the previous substandard indie rock fodder to a fresh take on the retro sound, means they are an altogether different outfit.

This was out with the old and in with the new, in style and in band members. Sadly, gone is original bassist Charlotte Froom, who has been replaced with two new members, including an organist. Now The Like are a band with the quirky ’60s psychedelic sound recently adopted by MGMT: organs, doo-wap harmonies and fuzzy guitars – not particularly a mainstream sound but none-the-less a good one.

‘Release Me’, their new album, set to be released in the summer and produced by (shudder) Mark Ronson, is actually looking like a gem of an album, and tonight we hear probably all the tracks on it and thankfully nothing from their early days.

Their new direction is a darker sound, which becomes more accessible live then on record (or on Myspace at least). Songs such as ‘He’s Not A Boy’ and one that proclaims ‘I don’t love you but I like you’ are tongue in cheek live, but topped with powers of seduction, and are extremely difficult to resist.

‘Narcissus In A Red Dress’ is quite the opposite – quite throw away and bubbly on their Myspace page, but incredibly dark live – lead singer Z.Bergs bright white eyes, complete with the darkest of black eye shadow, produces an overwhelming stare that draws everyone in. This is complimented by her tight guitar and vocals, and matched by the seductive head swinging of new bassist Laena Geronimo. And with the quirky ’what’s going on’ charm of new fourth member organist Annie Monroe, The Like won people over.

As ’60s and as psychedelic it all is, you can hear The Jam in the basslines and Roxy Music (glam era) in the drums, and one song actually could be a mix of ‘Start!’ and ‘Love Is The Drug’. They have however managed to get away with it, and this is less of a criticism more a compliment to their tight, skilful musicianship.

After a minor quibble with the almost mute vocals, the sound guy was reprimanded and they managed to pull off a tight nit fast paced set, showing they’ve worked bloody hard, and enjoyed the gig as much as their new fans.


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