Live Review
Surfer Blood
The Scala
Kings Cross, London

Photography by Elinor Jones

It’s actually been a while since I went to what you would call a “proper” gig. My random encounters with new music usually end with me somewhere in a dark corner of London wondering if I’ve attended a band’s rehearsal by accident. So imagine my surprise when a band I like a lot got to the point where they could play the Scala. Every bland cliché of the modern gig experience suddenly felt like a novelty, with the exception of paying four quid for a crap pint of course – that shit never gets new. I’ll be honest about Surfer Blood; I’ve got envelopes that are more sonically forward thinking. The point is they write staggeringly good pop songs that sound like The Shins with a couple of punk records thrown in, or Pavement without the aching irony.

The real test is whether or not your songs are good enough to fill a space like this and make every person in the room feel something, and these Floridians are good enough on both counts. If they keep writing songs as good as ‘Swim’ then in five years time I’ll be walking into far larger venues with the same look of bewildering excitement on my face. Say hello as I’ll probably have snuck some whiskey in.

By Olly Parker

Originally published in issue 26 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. March 2011