LIVE: Pity Sex / The Death Of Pop / Radical Boy @ The Old Blue Last, London

By Glen Bushell

There’s no escaping that nowadays more and more bands are trading in punk rock for a more fuzzy, indie rock sound. No that there’s anything inherently wrong with that, but there is always that danger of a scene diluting itself and it not becoming exciting anymore. Thankfully for Ann Arbor, MI quartet Pity Sex, they have been doing that kind of style from the start, and for them to do anything else now would be criminal, as they are masters of their art. Tonight marks the first UK show for Pity Sex, and this free show at The Old Blue Last in the heart of trendy east London is something their adoring crowd have been wanting to see for a long time.

It takes a while for the show to get going, as it is a late start this evening, but that means there is a suitable crowd in the room for when Sheffield two-piece Radical Boy kick proceedings off this evening. Given their minimal set up, there are obvious similarities to Sheffield’s favourite sons Nai Harvest, although Radical Boy seem yet to have found their creative feet to make themselves stand out. They appear a little messy in places, but credit where it’s due to them for shaking off technical difficulties with a smile, and their songs are catchy enough to certainly allow for some future potential from this duo.

Following them with a more rounded approached are Londoners The Death Of Pop, and for a relatively unknown band to tonight’s crowd they play like they could have been headlining. They have all the features of a young Ride about them with they dreamy indie rock, with more a few subtle hints towards Revolver and Chapterhouse. Given the current musical climate, and the look of impressed faces in the audience, it won’t be long before the The Death Of Pop make their way out from the underground.

When Pity Sex make their way on to the stage the Old Blue Last is practically bursting at the seams, and with beaming smiles the band look visibly moved by the fact that their first UK show is completely packed to the rafters. From the moment they launch into ‘Wind Up’ the crowd sings every word back at Brennan Greaves, and even nearly eclipse the PA during a rousing version of ‘Coca Cola’. Considering Pity Sex don’t really “hits” per se, you would think they were a singles band given the reaction, and of course they certainly air the favourites that the crowd wanted to hear.

‘Honey Pot’ and ‘Acid Reflex’ sound glorious, and for the all the fuzz that Pity Sex provide, they also know when to rein it in. The dream-pop ditty ‘Fold’ see’s Britty Drake take the lead with her serene vocal melodies over softly tremolo-picked guitar playing, before cranking things back up for ‘Drown Me Out’. The end their main set with ‘Dogwalk’, but that isn’t enough for the audience who beg them for one more song, and they provide with the huge ‘Flower Girl’ which even encourages a few wayward stage dives for what could really have been a more reserved affair.

It’s safe to say for Pity Sex, and everyone in attendance, that their first show on UK shores was a complete success, and the addition of extra shows was certainly a welcome one. No doubt it will be time for them to put together a new record soon, but when they do and they return here, they will unquestionably be playing bigger venues, and stealing even more hearts then they did tonight.