Smiling shyly at each other, their sudden surge in popularity seems to have taken Allo Darlin’ by surprise. Combining the delicacy of shoegaze with the effortless catchiness of ’60s doo-wop, songs like ‘Polaroid’ seems to be tapping into a mood that’s slowly spilling out into the wider arena. Unashamedly happy, they turn self-conscious shufflers into arm-twirling loons in just a few short chords tonight, taking an irreverent approach to the cover song as they incorporate a sneaky dash of Weezer into ‘Kiss Your Lips’ and conduct the crowd to sing-along through ‘Call Me Al’.
Wide-eyed singer Elizabeth gently rails against “Shoreditch hipsters” and “Morgate bankers” before inviting us all on a picnic outing. It’s very twee, but as she bounds around stage to the afro beat strains of ‘My Heart Is a Drummer’ it’s hard not to get carried along. Later on the band take the party out into a nearby alleyway, huddled in a small crowd before the police get too close for comfort. Rebellious, but sweet enough to take home to meet your mother, Allo Darlin’ are sparking some serious indie nostalgia. Go see them for the kind of innocent fun that predates the Internet.
By Kate Parkin
Originally published in issue 25 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. February 2011