As every year with the coming of autumn, the London Calling festival came back to the two rooms of Paradiso in Amsterdam to show some new names to follow (as happened in the last edition in May where we could enjoy previously the massive success the shows of Royal Blood or Jungle), accompanied this time by most recognised names such as veterans Sebadoh or Spoon.
The start time of the festival hampered us arrive before the final moments of the concert of one of the bands that had more desire to see, the British Wild Smiles, whose sound recalls grunge Nirvana, Dinosaur Jr. and Teenage Fanclub. However, in a swift and powerful live, their music manages to get close more current bands like The Drums, demonstrating a versatility that is not present in their debut album Always fun tomorrow. Behind them was the turn of American Gap Dream, which arrived with the band of being a worthy successor to MGMT's psychedelic synthpop sound mixed with rock touches for his work with The Black Keys. Instead, their sound was flat and even boring at times too (feeling probably because of its poor interaction with the public), although it is worth remark the great hit "Shine your light" which delighted the little audience present at the room.
The legendary big room opened its doors to the festival with the concert by also American Wild Child, who four years ago were placed as one of the bands to follow closely by their debut album Pillow Talk, in which they emphasised the sweetness voice of Kelsey Wilson and their combination with the rhythms arising from caramel ukuleles and violins. This time, and with a repertoire based on their second album, The Runaround, the gig was highest to lowest, resulting even a little drab the final part, largely due to the excessive presence of instruments in some songs, which made that the crowd lost interest gradually before the feeling of being repeatedly listening to the same song that could well be the background music of some of those ads that proliferate today with charming corners of the main European cities and bearded hipsters cycling as protagonists. Perhaps this fact made the small room would be filled more and more to enjoy Americans too Gengahr, with the aura of being one of the last bands revelation Glastonbury despite not yet having any LP on the market, was one of the names targeted in all the lists as "must see". Live sound becomes a mixture of a less dark Unknown Mortal Orchestra with touches of Broken Social Scene or Sufer Blood, leaving a very good impression on closer to 20 minutes that lasted their performance.
Return to the main room afforded us one of the surprises of the day. The Australian DMA's, with a look more closer to gang neighbourhood members from Manchester to a band of music, offered about 30 minutes of good rock appearance, recalling at times the former Stone Roses or Oasis. In addition to their clothing (Adidas was replaced by the most popular in the antipodes Slazenger) and a defiant attitude, the crowd were surprised about how much guitars were present on stage, taking the simplicity of eager brit bands. We'll anxiously wait for their debut LP to confirm everything that they approval live!. If last year was Royal Blood which almost leave us eardrums with their power, this year, and as a presage to all their songs and videos on the Internet, the ones in charge of wake up us were based on strong guitars were Bad Breeding. The English, with a mix of Bad Brains punk and Motörhead rock, put upside down a small room which at times looked like a great pogo, despite some problems with the sound on the bass on the fourth song were closer to deep the full show, but they were clearly resolved by punk attitude more than technicalities.
The deserved rest for the body arrived with their countrymen Lola Colt, which deployed in the great room all their artillery, and never better, in the form of repertoire that could be the perfect soundtrack for typical westerns of Sergio Leone. Regardless of the style, that to our understanding not join so much those hours with what was presented at the festival, we want to highlight the presence of their singer, the Danish Gun, which at times looked like the twin sister of Patty Smith or Grace Slick with her torn and powerful voice. The upper floor became again eaten up by the destruction against the proposal of "The fucking Amazing Snakeheads coming from fucked Glasgow", who was the way that their leader Dale Barclay presented the band. Their show, which started before the first song when singer and bassist throwing their shirts to the crowd, seemed much more welcome because of the complicity with whom the audience went wild with their old school punk style reminiscent of The Fall or The Cramps. It is true their style may sound simple or too rough sometimes, but we already knew it in advance, and also, anyone dares to say something to these Scottish thugs..
Returning to the more accelerated paces and distortions arrived with The Bohicas, that already were at May's last edition and by the hand of their singles "XXX" and "Swarm" have achieved to make a better name on British radios. The sound of the band live is great, but it sounds too contrived and unoriginal, getting at times resemble the early Kasabian, but mostly (and perhaps too much), to their mentors Franz Ferdinand, who signed them to their label Domino. That special flair perhaps should be search on a lower presence of their singer Dominic McGuinness and giving a greater role for his guitar Dominic John, who was the one who offered the best moments of the concert. The new step towards more sedate rhythms were offered by brothers Thom and that Lucy made, better known by their stage name Southern, who went up the stage each one with a guitar (acoustic and electric, respectively) accompanied by bass and drums, providing a sound that resembled the initial post Britpop by Travis or Stereophonics, but very close to the voice of The Kooks' leader Luke Pritchard. The chemistry between the members and the powerful guitar riff that Lucy made, offered two great songs like "Cold Kids" and "Where I Want to Be", which surely praise them on the lists of best songs and groups to follow later this year.
The big name of the night, Kate Boy band, filled the great room with a style very close to English AlunaGeorge, but especially the Swedish The Knife, showing a perfect balance between the voice of Australian Kate Akhurst and rhythms arising mainly from synthesizers, keyboards and electronic drums. Despite their effectiveness and good manners pointing songs like 'Northern Lights' and 'Self Control', we must recognise that for the moment what they offer is not nothing new, so after a series of hit EP's, we'll expect their first LP to shift the balance to follow the group side or a run-of-the-mill band.. Just the opposite happened with the Angels Saint Motel during their brief show in a small room to overflowing. A fun show, with a variety of amazing sounds where guitars, keyboards and drums came in step to perfection with a saxophone, all very 80's, leaving for remembrance a memorable performance of one of the great songs of this year "My Type". The evening closed with Kill All Hipsters session, but it also supposed the end for the second day of the festival, so we post pose the analysis for tomorrow's review.