Opening tonight’s sold out gig was ‘Swimming,’ an experimental pop 5 piece from Nottingham. Without a word they exploded straight into a techno poppy indie sound and give off instant vibes of influence from David Bowie right up to a modern day Klaxons mixed with the vocal styles of Vampire Weekend. My particular favourite track was ‘Mirromaze.’
Next up were a band that are in the middle of major hype and attention from NME magazine, ‘The Heartbreaks.’ These lads are touring with Carl Barat and it’s easy to see why they are highly rated. A band that seem to be following the increasingly popular ‘new-indie’ genre and follow in the footsteps of the likes of The Drums, Bombay Bicycle Club and The Maccabees, they certainly won over this Sugarmill crowd with their high tempo and the exhilarating playingof a guitarist who seemed to model one of the strangest haircuts I have seen in a long time, fashion is certainly changing!
This is not my particular favourite genre of music but ‘The Heartbreaks’ certainly changed my opinion and i will be giving these a future listen, and in particular their newest single, ‘Why do you always make me cry?’
Preparing for an hour long set, the arrival of Carl Barat on the stage was greeted with tremendous cheers. Perhaps many of the youngsters came to this gig hoping that Carl would play stuff from his time in previous bands, ‘Dirty Pretty Things,’ and ‘The Libertines'; but Carl gave us a treat, not only did he play samples of previous work but showed off work from his newest album which was released on 4th October.
First track of the set was his first single as a solo artist, ‘Run with the Boys.’ From the very first chords it is just Carl Barat all over, from the bassy beginnings to the 80’s style riffs in the hooky chorus which you just can’t help but sing along to. Clearly an idol to many lads in the mill tonight, the sound of Libertines anthem ‘Time for Heroes,’ was met with scenes of delirium and sent this crowd into a frenzy. This wasn’t the only ‘Libs’ track we heard tonight, with Carl also playing ‘The King who would be dead,’ and ‘Death on the Stairs’. Then out came the famous Dirty Pretty things hit, ‘Bang Bang your dead’ and Carl showed us what he’s all about with his perfectly melodical vocal performance and backed superbly by his band, this is just a song that is impossible not to love.
‘Deadwood’ saw Carl bring up the tempo and with the aggressive drumming combining with the grimy guitars which once saw this man at the top of the Britpop scene. Between these tracks of old, he showed off his new project, and how exceptional this alum is! Introducing a more soulful side to his music, he combined beautiful lyrics with music that’s a delight to the ears. Particular highlights from the new album were singles, ‘France,’ ‘The Fall’ and ‘Cloud Nine.’ It was in Mr Barats last song of the night where we saw what everyone had been waiting for, The Libertines favourite, ‘Dont look back into the sun.’ Without doubt everyone in the 'mill was dancing along and Carl, clearly enjoyed himself and couldn’t thank the audience enough for what tonight's memorable gig.