Those Dancing DaysEdit this event
Someone once said, “There ain’t no party like a disco party”. It’s an axiom that’s been repeatedly pounded into our heads in recent years via a few now well-flogged horses. Electroclash begat disco-punk, disco-punk begat nu-rave, nu-rave begat…well, let’s stop connecting the dots here and just get to the point. We’re living in a time when dance and rock have repeatedly become intertwined and re-jigged into a variety of mutations. Though recent efforts by a number of culprits may sound increasingly limp-wristed, if you play it, they will come, and many certainly have tonight for another evening at the Camden Barfly hosted by those fine fellows at Adventures Close to Home.
First into the fray are Naive New Beaters. A group of Frenchman who, with their multi-coloured now that’s what I call rave stage hoodies and scraggly hair, oddly enough bring to mind a poor-man’s Hall & Oates after one too many comedowns. Plunging headfirst into the same post-electro-indie-rock-rave pool that gave rise to CSS and The Teenagers, they litter their songs with enough bargain-bin beats and stilted rapping to lead a Klaxon to the_ alter_ - if they leaned towards hirsute, Gaelic males. A box is ticked here, a motion gone through there, but they fail to light the necessary spark needed to elevate their intentionally naive (sorry) stylings above the realm of Eurotrash parody.
Bring on Ebony Bones (pictured) then. Beloved of Zane Lowe and with every single magazine and paper jumping onto her bandwagon – even The Sun recently got in on the act – Bones looks set to make an unavoidable splash this year. A technicolour diva, the illegitimate love child of Karen O and Beyoncé, a new school Grace Jones for the glow stick massive; the superlatives run freely when you catch a glimpse of this 24-year-old Londoner (and former Family Affairs star).
Musically, she claims to create music for the short-attention-span iPod generation by referencing Tom Tom Club, The Slits, ESG and vintage R&B in the space of a single song. Favouring lyrics and titles like ‘Don’t Fart On My Heart’, she’s certainly vying for as much attention as possible. Greater things may be on her agenda, but even with an explosive backing band following her every move tonight, the resulting noise feels far too constrained in the cramp confines of the Barfly. Genres bleed into each other, styles get dragged around by their nails, until all that repeats itself across the brain is the following phrase: “Haven’t we seen this once too often?”
Leave it to the Swedes, then, to once again remind us that all you need on occasion is a simple pop song to make your point. Young they may be, but the young women in Those Dancing Days prove they’ve been paying attention to the lessons taught by their pop-loving forebearers. Drawing a line from Northern Soul to The Ronettes and Camera Obscura, the band successfully resuscitate their admittedly tepid single ‘Hitten’ before the likes of_ ‘Those Dancing Days’ and the brilliant bounce of ‘1000 Words’ _repeatedly hit the infectious mark. The latest and the greatest may not be the correct adjectives to apply to Those Dancing Days, but their understated, energetic approach to indie-pop acts as a welcome salve to eyes and ears seared by the preceding neon glare.
Ebony Bones photo: Rajan Wadhera