Walking into the Barfly on a freezing Friday night to catch a slot from indie upstarts Zut Alors, we’re a little taken a-back by the practically empty venue. Singer songwriter Laura Izibor is woefully tinkering on keyboards on stage in another ‘deep and meaningful’ epic, bringing a slightly downbeat feel to the proceedings.
Zut Alors have impressed with opening slots for Manchester Orchestra and Scouting For Girls, and are enjoying an ever growing fanbase that materialises in the moments before their set, with the room going from empty to rammed in the space of minutes. Word is obviously getting around about this boys, and with good reason.
It’s a short but sweet set for this South London based quartet. Tom Gimmers on vocals has an endearing break to his voice, a Thom Yorke/Jeff Buckley quality which comes effortlessly and gives an extra facet to this multi-talented band. Tracks are melodic indie, heavier than you’d expect, and uniformally well written. New track ‘In All Things Courage‘ and ‘Snakes n Ladders‘ stand out in a polished performance, and there’s more than a nod to Radiohead, with slickly wailing guitars and heavy bass in parts in a performance that’s both confident yet humble.
Tracks are edgy without being pretentious, rich with catchy hooks and unexpected turns. Every so often there’s a glimpse of vulnerability about the band, which is both engaging and just adds another layer. ‘One That Got Away‘ (their forthcoming debut single) is just one of the tracks layered with edgy guitars, an unbound exuberance that’s tempered in parts.
A confident performance from an indie band who are more american garage band than Libertine wannabes, and armed with both talent and intelligent song writing, could well be the ones to watch in 2008.
Photos by Philip Procter