Live Review
Bos Angeles
The Lock Tavern
Camden, London

Even without knowing that Bos Angeles’ bassist wears a backwards baseball cap this evening, you can probably guess what kind of music this London trio peddle. I mean, they’re called Bos Angeles! As such, they neither shy away from their American slacker influences, nor take themselves outrageously seriously.

A newborn bunch with a far from newborn sound, it shows this evening, in more ways than one. Naivety, we’re shown, is a double-edged sword, as the band refuse to throw the hissy fit of a tired, desperate band when failing equipment stops the set dead for ten minutes (good), yet also appear too awkward to do much at all (not so good). They look at us, we look at them, in silence. No one gets mad for several reasons – it’s Sunday, The Lock Tavern is the kind of pub you’d spent your weekend in whether there was a band with technical difficulties there or not and Bos Angeles look endearingly perturbed.

Once they do start playing again, we’re back to the band’s surf garage tunes, which, if you check out their bandcamp page you’ll realise, are undeniably good, like The Drums. Good, but not great, with the exception of ‘Beach Slalom’ and its Cure-inspired guitar hook. Tonight, nothing is played to its full potential though, with the drums heavy-handed and at odds with the band’s sun-soaked dreams and the vocals mumbled flatly.

This is a band completely at their genesis, and I’m sure they’ve got much better shows to come, but seeing as the beach-band schtick got tired a long time ago, they need to hurry up and perfect their live sound before they miss the boat altogether.

Stuart Stubbs

Originally published in issue 31 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. September 2011.