A stunning showcase of the immense underground rock scene in London which is just brimming with raw talent, This Feeling took to The Monarch in Camden on Thursday evening, bringing together three of the most talked about bands on the DIY post punk circuit. Calva Louise and The Velvet Hands both performed riotous sets, followed by
headliners Paves, playing the gig as a launch party for stunning new single Baby. This Feeling always deliver an insanely good lineup, but this time really outdid themselves, the gig even selling out beforehand. The Velvet Hands brought a feel of authenticity and nostalgia to the gig, intertwining classic 60s sounds into their set. A bold Stones-esque edge ripples through their tight licks and riffs, and the nostalgia of their sound was kept just fresh enough by the confidence and abrasive youthfulness present. Bringing a more gritty punk bite to the gig, Calva Louise put on a hectic set as usual; Jess’s sharp riffs and grating vocals fit together perfectly, and the raw DIY edge to the band always makes them a delight to see live. I could go on about the three piece for hours, purely because of the unbelievable talent they have; they possess the skill and talent to write punk tracks with indie and pop undertones to them, whilst maintaining that raw dirty punk grit which is so integral to their sound. Headline band Paves were on top form too; in all honesty it didn’t grip me properly until about halfway through their set, but what was clear nearer the end was how tight and polished they are. Their sound is packed with this rich romanticism, full of riffs which focus more on meticulous delicacy and intricacy than heaviness which I think works really well with the sound the band are going for, which is stunning classic guitar rock. What This Feeling did on Thursday night was mega; a showcase of some of the freshest, most exciting talent in London right now.
What I liked about the gig was the versatility of the evening; each band was so unique in their own way, bringing 60s/70s mod rocker vibes, DIY punk grit, and anthemic guitar rock’n’roll together on one stage. For Paves, the gig was a single release party for Baby which has been released
via This Feeling records, the track being a standout summer tune (as Paves played a host of festivals over the summer for This Feeling). Baby is a brilliant piece of music too, and the reaction from the crowd and packed out buzz inside the venue during their set confirms Mikey Johns’ description of them as ‘the heart and soul of London’s and the UK’s new music scene.’ Paves are very well established in the London scene; they gig constantly and themselves attend most gigs around the city too, building up a reputation and certain popularity for themselves in the process. Live, they have an incredible sound. Luke’s voice is stunning; it’s rich and soothing, at the same time possessing a really tough gritty quality. He pushes it quite a lot in tracks like Baby and Woman, and I love the gravely undertone it has when he applies that extra power to it. The guitar he plays is stunning too, backed up perfectly by Mike who could play riffs for days, a stunning compliment to Tom on drums and bassist Perry. Calva Louise too were a band I already knew of really well, having seen them play live four times now. Jess is a mindblowing front woman, and probably one of the nicest people in the music industry. Her sharp screeches and gritty DIY punk screams ease into soothing pop melodies in an instance, and this glides over her insane riffs perfectly. Alizon on bass (especially in Getting Closer) and Ben on drums fits in with her aura perfectly too, the fact that they rehearse every single day being no surprise when you witness the perfection of their sets. For me though, The Velvet Hands were my favourite set of the night, simply as it’s always a pure
delight to be that impressed and excited by a band you’ve not yet seen live before. Their sound was rich and authentically rock’n’roll, drawing comparisons to The Rolling Stones, or possibly bands such as Squeeze and The Vaccines. 60s and 70s subculture was clearly an inspiration behind the band, reflected both by their old school sound and image; they could have easily jumped out of the Cavern Club, or some quirky underground London bar in the mid 70s. It can be difficult for a band to sound as if they’ve stepped out of another decade without sounding copycat-ish or cliché, but the confidence of the lads transcended regardless and they pulled their set off with ease.
A five star gig from This Feeling, once again.
© all photos snapped by the amazing Alan Wells (full photo album here)
Paves continue their tour for the rest of the month into December, including three more dates with This Feeling, and a special Christmas show with The Wholls and BREED at Bedford Esquires on 16/12
Calva Louise continue with their This Feeling residency, and play The Water Rats on 2/12 and The Monarch (with Rosko and Beach Riot) on 21/12
The Velvet Hands play for Modern Age Music at Paper Dress Vintage on 1/12
And if there’s one thing ya wanna do before the end of the year, it’s to see these bands live, because for all three of them 2018 is gonna go OFF