Sydney-based dance-pop group Sneaky Sound System lured in enough of their fellow Aussies to sell out their only London gig last night. In return, they thoughtfully ensured their antipodean brethren a short walk home by holding it at Shepherds Bush Empire, conveniently located next to the Walkabout Inn. Though their upcoming release 2 is the first to hit UK shores, SSS is already a multi-platinum group in their homeland with the runaway success of their eponymous first album in 2006.
Angus 'Black Angus' McDonald writes and produces the infectious tracks, talents that are not matched by Daimon 'Double D' Downey's skills as a rapper - comparisons to Kevin Federline are not wholly undeserved. Happily, most of the set was ably fronted by Connie Mitchell, whose soulful voice rose and fell over the insistent dance beats and stole the hearts of any non-believers. Slinking across the stage, Mitchell's kooky elegance was a sharp contrast to Downey's twitchy cheerleading and arm-waving, but it all strangely worked. Howling their approval, the packed crowd cheered the opening bars of nearly every song, including their hits 'UFO', 'I Love It', and 'Hip Hip Hooray'. Even the light display was perfectly coordinated, alternately transforming the Empire into a heaving dance club and then silhouetting the band against blinding white during intense synth crescendos. They closed with a brilliant cover of the Eurythmics' 'Sweet Dreams', ending their set on a frenzied high that only seasoned bands could manufacture.
The fans know SSS, and the band in turn indulges their faithfulness. It was exciting to witness a band on the verge of making it big here in the UK, as this group undoubtedly will. Judging by their one-hour set, their new album will a collection of hooky tunes that will please
nearly everyone and offend almost no one. As Mitchell acknowledges during their mega-hit 'Kansas City' someone in London city loves them, and there's about to be many more someones very soon.
By Jenny Bak Paek