Dalston Victoria, London
10th October 2016
Fews are beginning to turn some heads and get peoples feet tapping. Keith Goldhanger wanders along to catch them before they go on to play larger venues and gain the adoration of the nation.
The Victoria pub in Dalston seems to get the proverbial lick of paint every time we walk into it. A new smokers strip (closed this evening) along the left hand side of the building was last week’s find and some new planters with greenery protruding from the top of each one have been added to the front of the pub. It’s a venue looking nicer and sounding better every time a visit is made.
Gigs seem to be the main source of income. Put on bands seven nights a week and people will turn up and drink beer. If you’re one of those people that go inside the Bull and Gate in Kentish Town nowadays just to take a photo of the restaurant to put on Facebook and bemoan the death of an old music establishment but haven’t yet been inside this East London venue then you need to take a good look at yourself (and I’m not suggesting a selfie).
This is a very decent small venue and tonight’s gig is another one of those featuring a band that fit ideally inside these surroundings.
“Fuck, there’s a lot of you here!”
Are the opening words from one of the two Fews guitarist/vocalists.
There’s a big crowd here tonight and its evident we’re all here because these two Swedish chaps at the front, the American Drummer at the back and recent addition Jay Clifton (formerly of CuT) are in possession of a lot of fast exciting tunes that sound so good, are a thrill to hear this loud and don’t get lost between these four walls. They sound at times like The Strokes on a 78rpm turntable or Foals if Foals just stuck with one idea and followed it right through to the end (the end being about two and a half minutes after the start). We tried speeding up The Smiths ‘Hand in Glove’ when we got home but that blokes voice was just too much at that speed even if the guitars reminded us of what we’d heard earlier. Each tune chops and grinds away, sometimes getting even faster as the tune gets nearer the end. Heads bob, bodies jerk, feet tap, legs shake and the odd pint glass gets crushed under foot.
Fews are a big messy gloriously monotonous and at times hypnotic band that are still a few music loving individuals short of becoming a massive act. The Victoria isn’t tiny but there’s a few people here who already love this band to bits. A few support slots with gigantic Boston band The Pixies, and a stretch of gigs that are forthcoming with their own name on the top of each poster will help in adding to the numbers excited already by what’s to come. Time will tell if this will work as well on the bigger stages, however for the time being Fews are on fire.
Go and see them.
All words and pictures by Keith Goldhanger. More writing by Keith on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive. You can also find Keith on Facebook and Twitter (@HIDEOUSWHEELINV).You may subscribe to the Goldhanger Shorts Facebook page too if you so wish.