XOYO, Old Street
When half-full, XOYO feels disconcertingly like a school hall done up for a sixth-formers’ leaving party, and Silver Columns’ decks, standing vacant before the set, look a mite cheesy, adorned as they are with tube lights à la Kevin’s Mobile Disco (available for weddings). By the time the synth pop duo arrive on stage and launch into their opener though, the venue is full and the atmosphere is entirely different. The restrained electronica of the opening song swells in crescendos, enclosing and compulsive, while a seriously pounding beat underpins the swirl.
It’s easy to make Hot Chip comparisons with this band, but Silver Columns feel much more unique than that. Where they really distinguish themselves from their peers is in their vocals; ‘Warm Welcome’ has a laid-back and beautiful vocal line that would sit easily over an acoustic folk song, while ‘Heart Murmurs’ is warm, fuzzy, and tinged with melancholy. During the set-closer though, Adem Ilhan piles into the crowd brandishing a floor tom over his head, plants it in the middle of the room and begins attacking it with a tribal intensity, before being joined by Johnny Lynch, singing the last few lines through a megaphone. Beats a sixth-form disco, any day.
By Chris Watkeys
Originally published in issue 23 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. November 2010