Live review: King Tut’s Summer Nights: Verse Metrics, Cancel the Astronauts, Bermuda, FOUND, 19/7/11

I’ve been a bit picky with these Summer Nights events, choosing three of the better line-ups to pop along to and give the event coverage. Tonight I’m ever so slightly gutted as this clashes with what sounds a wonderful, and free, Wounded Knee show at Mono. Still, this line up is pretty fun, filled with plenty of interesting and inspiring pop to justify the loss.

Verse Metrics are up first and immediately create a careful, intricate dreamy soundscape over soft vocals, which build together in volume as Bob’s vocals push towards passionate cries as the song reaches it’s peak. ‘Tired Lights’ starts with a bang before quickly settling and then lifting itself into much heavier territory.

The band pull off the set with a pop urgency as the four-piece, shirted for the occasion, mould head nodding rhythms and twinkling guitars with coolly delivered vocals. Verse Metrics are on the last date of their tour and it’s clear they have built up a confidence, and just to think it’s just over a year since their first gig.

One side of latest single, ‘Modern Sleep’ carries all the essential ingredients an indie rock song should have, a frantic rhythm pushes through until a chilled fade out. The band certainly deserves to be here, as they close they fill the room with noise with only a crisp vocal breaking the mire.

Cancel the Astronauts follow things up and continue the indie-tinged theme only this time leaning a bit more on the sporadic side of pop, frantic addictive vocals, delivered in a way to keep people trying to sing along. There’s a constant element of fun shining through this set, this is cemented in place by their drummer, Chris’, smile plastered face, although he does shy away from the “taps aff” chants.

It is their frontman who really grabs the attention as he drags about the stage holding a shifty stare on the crowd pulling everyone into a slightly awkward state of attention. There’s a touch of dance towards the end of the set as a dreamy synth cruises before dance punk guitars lift over the mix and get feet moving.

‘Let’s Go Expo’ blasts us with guitar before moving into clean grooves behind addictively delivered lyrics, before an explosive ending as the band hit into another verse at breakneck pace playing out on clearly their most crowd pleasing number.

Bermuda? Who’re Bermuda? Well they used to MILK, that secret band that suddenly weren’t secret but now they changed their name and are again. But why? That’s the difficult one, no online presence is a statement for a band but really what’s the point, what’re Bermuda trying to say? I’m not quite sure.

How they sound however is pretty much how you expect them to sound having laid eyes on them, they play a set of sparkling synth pop and give an encouraging upbeat presence. Their frontman slightly reminds you of Alex Kapranos, but younger definitely younger, but doesn’t quite hit the nail on the head as Alex has done in the past.

These’s guys are a slick, smart indie rock band which scensters will latch onto at will, there’s no doubt it’s fun and it’s better than when I saw them in their previous incarnation but I don’t see justification for the secret band gimmick.

FOUND think there should be more smoke, and then there is, this is a band rightfully is getting what it wants. As the glitchy beats hit in with the almost folky pop vocal the drummerless trio pull into that gulf created between minimal dance and passionate indie rock, without the sense of tragic genre merging to hook scensters. The beats by all rights should sound out of place in this set up but these guys have carved an original sound and made it seem simple.

‘Anti Climb Paint’ starts on a slow lead before building to classic indie rock which has been remixed that many times I forgot how fresh the original version sounds. At times the band switch to mesmorising 60’s inspired repetitive beats before turning it into a catchy bouncing bassline which relates more to movements like Brit pop than anything else.

Defined Scottish lyrics lift to big choruses amid clouds of noise before moving into pop bliss. ‘Johnny I Can’t Walk The Line’ starts with a tiny fuck up but just gets better as the beat hits in and sets a comfortable tone just short of pushing people onto the dancefloor, teasing the crowd with glimpses of pop charm before lifting into sing along, injecting a sort of country showdown before the beat drops and disappears into a mix of brilliant experimental proportions then building again and petering into smoke on a forgotten ending. Wonderful.

Photos: Sarah McDowall

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