Live Reviews

Real Estate/Ganglians/Double Dagger – Live

Cargo, London
18th May 2010

Triple bills as buzzy as this don’t come around too often, as tonight Cargo plays host to three American bands tipped for big things. Expectations are high, then, and first act Double Dagger waste no time in getting in amongst the sold out crowd. In fact, frontman Nolen Strals spends little time on the actual stage, as he clambers around the audience ensnaring them in a tangle of mic cables and punk rock. Arguably this is all a bit much for the early birds, but those that’d come specifically to see Double Dagger are treated to a raucous and absorbing set. Ones to watch in the future, most definitely.

With the audience now undoubtedly woken up, it comes the turn of Ganglians to justify their hype. The recently released Monster Head Room is a perfect summer cocktail of acid pop and Beach Boys harmonies, yet what we hear tonight is something a little different. The band largely ignores material from MHR, released last year in the states, and instead plays a varied and unfamiliar set. This seems to have a split effect on the crowd, some disappointed at the lack of familiarity and others excited to preview some new tracks. Still, there’s no doubt that the biggest reaction comes for set closer Candy Girl, a recent single that loses none of its blissful sheen in a live setting. It’s a performance that shows flashes of brilliance, yet I feel if they can pull themselves together then there is plenty more to come.

Rounding off proceedings are darlings of the indie press, Real Estate, who I have mixed feelings about before the show. On the one hand their recent self titled album is perfectly likeable, yet at the same time it seems to offer little more than that. While hearing the songs performed live fails to dramatically change my opinion, it’s a far more enjoyable performance than I had anticipated. Album highlights Fake Blues and Suburban Dogs are obvious high points, and the band come across well on stage which compliments a pleasing set all round. Still don’t get the hype, though.

Sleekly Lion