Sunday, 16 September 2012

Allo Darlin' / This Many Boyfriends / Imp

Allo Darlin / This Many Boyfriends / Imp
The Hop , Wakefield
31st August 2012

Heavyweight popsters with big reputations fail to disappoint.

With successful albums and national tours under their belt , a support slot with The Cribs in their trophy cabinet, and summer festival triumphs respectively for each band - this is a highly anticipated gig and is talked up by The Hop as being “the next biggy: the unmissable Allo Darlin'. One of my favourite gigs of last year and they've sold out much bigger venues than The Hop since then”

A nice mix; with Allo Darlin’ coming up from London, TMB hailing from the Leeds and local lads Imp all involved, the excitement is tangible. Not least from TMB who tweet on the day at 10am “it’s going to be awesome – just 8 hours of work to go!”

This is pop that packs a punch. And people are starting to take notice. Both Allo Darlin’ and TMB were on Lammos rebel playlist last week and this recent exposure shows at The Hop tonight. It is pretty full up.

Local pop noiseniks Imp get the party started – loudly - flying the Wakefield flag with honour fresh from success at Beacons. It can't be long before they are on the rebel playlist or getting a big support slot themselves.

TMB have been waiting all day for this and so have we. Their latest record (I Should Be) Communist is ace and filled with jumpy catchy melodies that they are famous for. The band bound around the stage - smiling! With a freshness that transcends from recording to their live show perfectly.  The sound is a little raw but they are happy and so are we. Standouts for me are 2nd song Young Lovers Go Pop! with a backing vocal to die for. Their 4th song Number One is on the BBC 6 rebel playlist and is slower and more thoughtful than others, a fuzzy melody reverb line is the main feature here. The last song is like a mix of The Futureheads and Morrissey, the TMB singer unfortunately failing to avoid comparisons to The Smiths mans vocal style as he weaves in and out of the audience. They have put on a good show.

Allo Darlin’ are top of the bill and it shows. These are super poppy songs with good lyrics, that are expertly crafted. They are almost too good; but quirky enough with ukulele and backing vocals galore to ensure they don’t become samey. An hour is just right for Allo Darlin’ to whizz through a tight as you like set with charisma and aplomb.

The band are dead nice and it is apparent they’re doing something they love. 2nd song is bass-tastic, with Bill Bottling beaming as he plays - and everyone smiles with him! It is infectious and the crowd are dancing. When they take it up a notch the lead singer Elizabeth Morris swings her short hair and shouts 'and we're in debt'! and we believe her.

Flagship song Capricornia is a highlight with a simple ukulele and vocal opening. New single jangles along nicely with faultless vocals from Elizabeth again. Next song states 'listen to this if you're ever lonely' and as polished as the band are the lyrics crafted well enough to still connect.

By the end we are as happy as the band and the applause is deserved. Allo Darlin’ are masters of the well crafted song and twee poppy pop. Some of the songs drift into one another which can be the danger with perfect pop but Allo Darlin’ have plenty of panache and buckets of bounce to keep you smiling and dancing along with them.

Words: Paul Bateson
Photograph: John Jowett

No comments:

Post a Comment