Air Guitars At The Ready: Three London Bands To Watch

The list of legendary guitar bands hailing from our fine city is extraordinary. The Kinks, The Who, T.Rex, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Sex Pistols and, of course, Status Quo. Other names that have been important for various reasons in more recent years include Suede, The Libertines…

And at this point a worrying fact becomes clear to us. Since the Libertines, and Carl Barat and Pete Doherty’s various offshoot projects, there appears to have been a remarkable dearth of London bands becoming huge phenomena in the UK and beyond.

Naturally there are notable, if fleeting, exceptions. White Lies from Ealing threatened to hit the big time following a promising debut, but the follow-up wasn’t up to much. The Horrors are on the right track, but sadly they’re from Southend. Mumford and Sons are of course huge, although their brand of earnest dad rock isn’t for everyone. And Razorlight just announced an ‘indefinite hiatus’, so Johnny Borrell’s glorious quest to single-handedly save rock and roll is once again lamentably on hold.

So where is London’s next big thing going to come from? Here Londonist examines three acts whose attempts to break the big-time have perhaps a greater chance of success than many.

Younghusband
Who?
Euan Hinshelwood, Adam Beach, Joe Chilton and Pete Baker.

Where?
Mostly around the Homerton and Dalston area. That’s the ‘cool’ box ticked then.

What?
Slacker pop with rather more energy and intent than that genre’s dubious name suggests. Jangly guitars nod to ‘90s American influences and we could swear we heard a flute on one track, but don’t let that put you off.

Why?
Music is a little too throwaway at times but a band like Younghusband demand closer inspection. They’ve been going for a few years but have honed their sound and finally release their first album in the summer, but if you can’t wait for that their single, Comets Crossed, was released earlier this month. They have just finished a residency at Stoke Newington’s intriguing new Babble Jar venue and various gigs are planned around the capital during the spring.

Binary
Who?
Dave Troster, Franco Bondi, Craig Lowe and Jake Sorbie.

Where?
Now, strictly speaking, Kilburn, though Dave’s from New York via south London, Franco is from Florence and Jake and Craig are from Weymouth. Truly cosmopolitan.

What?
Dark and chewy Jesus & Mary Chain-esque rock, dripping with UNKLE and just a hint of Swervedriver (who it’s now OK to like, we’re told).

Why?
Their brand of edgy, mysterious rock should be enough to set Binary apart from the also-rans. The band emerged from silence in January with the superb download You Need The Blue Key and their debut EP, Amber, including that song and the equally excellent G.O.D. gets a physical release on 8 May. A recent set at The Garage blew the crowd away and further London gigs are due to be announced in the near future.

Press To Meco
Who?
Luke Caley, Adam Roffey and Lewis Williams (pictured).

Where?
Resolutely Croydon, sticking two fingers up at the trendy types north of the water.

What?
Slightly unhinged math rock replete with three-part harmonies, spanning more genres than a romance-driven sci-fi novel set in 13th century Warsaw. Think 65daysofstatic with a sense of fun, and lyrics you can actually hear.

Why?
Latest single Affinity sounds like a standard rock tune, until someone seems to put all the instruments into a large sack and shake them all about, creating a noise batty enough to grab your attention. They continue their march to certain superstardom at the Barfly in Camden on 28 May.

By Chris Lockie

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