The Phenomenal Handclap Band @ Hoxton Bar and Grill, London 22/09/2009

October 6, 2009 by  

The Phenomenal Handclap Band

The Phenomenal Handclap Band are living the rose-tinted, paisley-patterned dream. On the back of their debut album they’ve had subversive dance floor success with single release ’15-20’, a track that you can’t help but get your wriggle on to. The album has some flat-out massive tunes aboard, the best of which emulate some great funk bands such as Detroit’s Rare Earth, and let’s face it, there’s always time for a soul funk revival; in fact it’s been long overdue. Having seem them tear it up at the beautiful Sunrise stage at Latitude I have high expectations that tonight’s gig will be a sizzler.

The venue for the evening’s entertainment is the Hoxton Square Bar & Grill, and the East side massive are out large to get greased. Kick starting the set by slicing into the funk-filled cream puff that is ‘You’ll Disappear’ is a strong beginning, and it’s a veritable dance off from the get go.

The band have all the nonchalance that coming from New York you’d expect, being far too cool to look cheery. Yeah they’re downright funky but they’re fairly restrained on stage, bordering on dull. The two female vocalists pout and play tambourine sultrily, and the permed bear-slash-man on the lead guitar has a groove and he’s sticking to it. Though it’s all very nice, it’d be nice to see them get loose and create some chemistry on the stage; something more than just a run through of the album.

As much as they have some absolutely killer tunes (significantly soul-stuffed ‘I Been Born Again’ is a treat for the ears) but once they’ve ticked them off the set list, it feels like coasting for the finish, all be it with the occasional badass breakdown.

The Phenomenal Handclap Band have blessed us with some glorious summer songs, but whether they can return with another helping worthy of our appetite seems an indefinite prospect.

By Hannah Lanfear


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