LIVE: Bad Sign / Grumble Bee / Bellevue Days @ Old Blue Last, London

By Ben Tipple

The Old Blue Last is well versed in playing host to showcases, but few celebrate quite the diversity of tonight’s bill. Although we were unfortunate in missing openers Elegies (a fact we should admit early on before the social media tirade), each of the remaining three acts bring an exciting new element to the table.

Bellevue Days present a blend of Brand New-esque atmospheric emo, a rival to the expansive soundscapes of contemporaries Black Foxxes. Their sound is spliced with grungier tones, arguably better when committing fully to one or the other. Still, their live performance is remarkably tight for a relatively new endeavour, reeking of something huge in the very near future.

It’s a similar vibe as singer-songwriter gone all-out noise trio Grumble Bee take to the stage, with the added instruments providing an experimental haze of raw sound over Jack Bennett’s captivating melodies. The balance is a little bit off and the performance slightly messy, but that doesn’t stop Bennett presenting himself as an exciting prospect not least in stage presence. The closing number and single, ‘H.C.A.D.C.’, carries one hell of a melody with it, and once Bennett and co. work out how best to let it shine through, the pop-rock world is their oyster.

Bad Sign are the most complete package on tonight’s bill. Despite battling with some early guitar issues that seemingly push the band’s Jonathan Harris to the very edge of sanity, the Croydon trio are on top form. Their sound twists and turns through a sea of dark melodies, exploding into thunderous breakdowns that take the largely unsuspecting audience off guard. The looming haze of smoke enveloping the room sets the mood, with the subtly brutality of Bad Sign to match.