Sunflower Bean @ Electric Ballroom, London
“You’re like My Little Pony, but alternative”. Springing out from Camden Town tube station is always an experience. You could have your eyes closed and still know exactly where you are when you overhear things like this.
In fact, there were handfuls of alternative My Little Ponies filling up the Electric Ballroom for Sunflower Bean last night.
As they rushed on stage in coordinating outfits, it went from zero to one hundred faster than making a joke about someone’s wife. So eager that the group had to take a second attempt at kicking things off with Head Full of Sugar – which could be quite literal.
I was blown away. Caught up in an enthralling display of talent, passion and some form of magic. I’m almost certain I have a case at InjuryLawyers4U from the bass vibrating the floor. Honestly, their first song has as much punch as most bands 5th.
Julia Cumming’s voice never failed, even at the extremes; like driving an expensive car through a narrow street and making out with no scratches you were clenching in amazement.
The set was heavily weighted with new material. Some even unreleased. Considering I’ve even seen crowds switch off at Arctic Monkeys concerts when they play new material, this was a bold move that paid well. The fact Cumming can command a crowd masterfully helped bolster the energy. The other aid being that their new songs were thrilling.
After blasting through a few songs, Julia gave a heartwarming speech about her love for the UK and while everyone eagerly listened. The girl next to me screamed, “you’re fit!”. No doubt reinforcing Julia’s admiration for the place.
From the back of the room it was like watching water boil, slowly starting to bubble in pockets until everyone was bouncing off the walls in a chaotic jumble.
Then, a tequila bottle storms on stage determined to wreak havoc. A couple of sips from the enormous bottle and the solos intensify, the guitars become a blur from all the movement and spellbinding attitude is upped a notch.
Last night, they opened up an endearing crush of mine for small bands. The effort they put in churns out a sound that permeates an entire room with more authority than some four or five piece bands.
The gang were thankful for the experience and they let the fans know it. I felt like saying thank you back, but settled for having another sip of beer and nodding my head in approval.
Concluding with their 2015 track Somebody Call me a Doctor as their encore I was unsure if she was introducing the song or the tequila had finally caught up (I contemplated keeping this dad joke for far too long).
It was the perfect end to the show. A mainly instrumental piece that was the final ingredient to the already bubbling cauldron. The lights were swirling like a malfunctioning helicopter hurtling back to Earth, blinding each of us for a second as the crashes of the cymbals stunned your senses.
It climaxed with Julia being swamped by fans as she walked into the crowd – instruments still going strong.
If their shows are this good already with a large chunk of their new record, I’d be very excited about any future shows. Seriously, if you’re ever on the fence, just do it, I guarantee it’s worth it.
As with all good shows, I was left in a daze smiling to myself reading the finance ads on the tube home.
Until next time,