Sunday 26th February 2017
Photos: Agnieszka Kocinska
You might be excused for thinking that London’s railways have changed a lot since Paul Weller immortalised the capital’s “Cold and uninviting, partially naked” tube stations in 1978. For after leaving the refurbished and repolished London Bridge terminus, around the corner you might just find a new music venue tucked into a hole in the wall beneath the railway line.
The venue is called Omeara, and it’s a slightly unusual setting for the psychedelic guitar-pop of Orkney Islands’ born Neon Waltz, the room’s gothic chandeliers lighting its rustic, tube passage walls as the band walk on through coruscating lights and whispers of theatrical stage smoke.
They have so far released just a few singles and an EP, but Neon Waltz has nonetheless filled the floor this Saturday night. Indeed, their tracks so far have been exactly the sort of upbeat indie-pop that is sure to see the band proliferate through commercial radio any time soon; recalling the phosphorescent, arms-around-the-shoulders choruses of many big-selling bands that may have embarrassed or enthralled you over the past few years, depending on your feelings about the commercial boundaries of guitar music.
But playing live, Neon Waltz are loud enough and irked by enough shimmering reverb throughout the set to give them an exciting edge over their indie-chart contemporaries, the mismatch of noise and melodic pop recalling at many instances their fellow Scots, Jesus and Mary Chain. And the often flawless, candied vocal harmonies, the powerful, adolescent inflected tenor of the frontman, justify all the haircuts and cheekbones.
The bold, polished assurance they brought to the gig, the name twisting football chants their already dedicated contingent of fans sang throughout the show, certainly made Neon Waltz seem like a band on the brink of bigger things; and the stuttering light display, the euphony of singles “Dreamers” and “I Fall Asleep”, seemed ready to break out of the dusky, subterrestrial tunnel of Omeara, and into the territory of big crowd arenas and festivals.
Thankyou for reading, you can see my review published on Gigwise via the link above.