Hey, it’s ’90s night! Shouting “All you motherfuckers better like the Coral!” is a strange way for Lawrence Arabia to start a gig, which is why he doesn’t do it. But the jaunty indie payload the bushy-faced New Zealander delivers (plus equally cute and hairy band) is disturbingly Britpop and occasionally quite good. Look out, there’s some Belle And Sebastian jangle rummaging around. Here’s one that revolves around hushed harmonies, bounced between band members in an almost doo wop style. That one’s pretty great actually, but you over there, the one that’s the spit of the Thrills? You’re not so great. All weirdness is smoothed over by a gleaming proficiency. Some nuggets here, hidden amongst a whole heap of other stuff.
It’s testament to the bizarre alchemy of music that beautiful songs are falling from a man in socks playing a foot organ, and a woman who in a parallel world might be singing keyboard songs on a cruise liner. Beautiful Beach House songs keep coming though, albeit wrapped in a fully immersive cloud of heavy organ swirls and brittle guitar lines. The Baltimore duo of Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally (joined on tour by a third member: Legrand’s hair. Only joking; a human drummer adds an unfussy touch to the muffled drum machine thump) have the best deal on offer: endlessly great, standalone melodies and the perfect musical hum to bathe them in. Songs like recent single ‘Norway’ have such a strong grip on killer pop dynamics (check the heartbeat gap before the “ha ha ha”s come in) they come close to bursting out of the amniotic atmosphere that fills this place, something aided by Legrand’s rare foghorn moments. You can have a good foghorn by the way. No harm can happen in this hour. One more? There’s always room in the womb.