When was the last time you went to a gig and felt that teenage combination of fear and excitement? Picture a sepia-lit stage with four smartly garbed musicians staring out steely eyed. Collarless cotton, cravats, smoked chrome glinting on resting Fenders: the scene feels theatrical, anachronistic, subversive.
When the music starts, dark Victoriana bursts into apoplectic rock ’n’ roll, fizzing with a fun kind of fury. Guitarist Ebony Clay and bassist Jack Timmis smash out brawny, off-time riffs that evoke the darker moments of Led Zep IV. The space they and rampant drummer Sam Jenkins create offers singer Andy Teece’s room to spit rhythmic vocals that suggest a super-charged Tom Waits is front and centre. And then somehow, in the febrile chaos, there is sex and slick-back swagger, the sort of which you’ve seen in recent Arctic Monkeys. Take a minute to process the dark romance directing some of the lyrics and the comparison strengthens.