Camden Barfly, London
11th June 2015
On the first of two sold out nights at the Barfly, there’s an expectant buzz as the brilliant and impossibly young Pretty Vicious file out from their dressing room and climb onstage. A shy “hello” from singing lead guitar slinger Brad Griffiths then… bam!
With a cool shrug of their collective shoulders, the hotly-tipped Merthyr Tydfil four-piece let rip, barely looking at the audience as they crank up their instruments, channelling raw early Oasis via second-album Clash and peak Nirvana with an explosive swagger way beyond their teenage years.
It soon becomes clear that their frantic, punk-powered single ‘It’s Always There’, dispensed with at the start of tonight’s set, is no fluke. The charismatic Griffiths – along with bassist Jarvis Morgan, guitarist Thomas McCarthy and hard-hitting drummer Elliot Jones – visibly relax and grow in confidence as the crowd warms to their melodic noise grenades. At a certain moment, as if psychically linked, Griffiths and Morgan lock eyes and the band fires off a series of rowdy anthems with an intuitive power and a knack for instantly catchy hooks that leaves you gawping in disbelief.
After hammering out another favourite, the furiously muscular ‘Cave Song’ (key line: “we’re the children of the streets”), they file back into the dressing room, sweaty and grinning, trailed by the outstretched hands of admiring audience members and accompanied by cheers and raucous applause.
Astonishingly, Pretty Vicious, despite only forming last year, are already equipped with enough adrenaline-fuelled and fiercely addictive songs to fill an album. These kids are more than alright.