The evening got off to an introspective start courtesy of Zombie Pistolero & His Guns, a one-man, bass and drum-machine outfit who has clearly hoovered up the industrial quantities of Joy Division and early New Order. The four-song set almost began unnoticed among the audience chat and beer-ordering, but after a glitch in the first song, he came through in the last couple with some dark bass hooks, strong melodies and confident resonant vocals. A little too low on stage presence for this night’s audience, though, it seemed.
Next on were Hermetic, who upped the wattage of the evening by a noticeable degree and dragged the audience irresistibly to the front of the stage. With a short, hot set of three-minute indie punk blasts, barely taking a breather between each one, they easily became the favourites of the evening. Nothing says pure honest lo-fi joy like furious barrages of guitar chords, high energy and slightly shaky harmonies.
Last, Fur Bearing Animals, a soul-funk band with a sporadic lean to old school. If this had been a competition of how much musical equipment you could fit on the Railway Club stage, they’d have won before they’d even begun. Supremely well-rehearsed, delivering tight, punchy funk rhythms à la Jamiroquai, and a blistering cover of a Beastie Boys number, they definitely seemed to be having the most fun of the evening, totally owning their set and the stage.
However, in spite of some perfectly recreated music (and fashion) stylings, a dash of Vocoder vocals, glo-sticks and plenty of attempted audience interaction, Fur Bearing Animals didn’t swipe the victory from Hermetic. It was a tight race, but in the end less image and more energy deserved to carry the day.