LIVE: Simple Creatures @ Hanger, London

By Renette van der Merwe

The venue is small, the stage smaller, but it’s perfect for tonight’s intimate show. It’s industrial, with exposed concrete and sturdy pillars and the kind of unfinished look that’s trendy nowadays: cool without trying too hard – an ethos shared with headline duo, Simple Creatures, who have already amassed a devoted following despite only being a band for four months.

Radio 1’s Daniel P Carter’s playing Blink-182, Panic! At The Disco, All Time Low and The Cure in an emo-nite-esque fashion and people keep coming and crowding and cheering as they fill the small venue to the brim with numbers and anticipation. Someone’s handing out balloon animals at the door, a prediction that things’ll get a little silly.

It’s time. Simple Creatures walk out on stage – Mark Hoppus sports his usual gravity-defying fringe, Alex Gaskarth’s hair is neon green and they’re both dressed casually. No fuss, no frills, and so for a moment you forget about Blink-182 and All Time Low and just indulge the new kids on the scene. You might find it suspicious that their set is tight, their vocals on point, their rapport effortless; that despite Hoppus’ statement that they’re still teething, they’re flawless and then it dawns on you: this is a supergroup.

The setlist isn’t long – forty minutes is the perfect length in Hoppus’ opinion – and it doesn’t need to be, because Simple Creatures are the epitome of quality over quantity. The crowd lose themselves in the gradient of kaleidoscopic lights, and melodies of the six singalong tracks from ‘Strange Love’.

Booming single, ‘Drug’ is the first song of the night and the frontrunner for fan favourite, but not without competition from the lo-fi vibe of ‘Ether’ and the EP’s synthy title track. As a bonus, they premiere two brand new tracks, ‘NVM’ and ‘One Little Lie’ alongside a cover of Depeche Mode’s ‘Personal Jesus’.

As with the EP, there are definite Gaskarth elements, while other details are overpoweringly Hoppus, but therein lies the beauty of combining two dominant forces. Between them, they’ve not only forged an entirely new genre, but as they’re playing, are also blurring the lines between gig and what feels like an epic house party.

The whole thing is irresistibly cool as we sing along to trash pop, thrust our hands into the air and dance among a sea of balloons and a sunset of lights, knowing Simple Creatures will never be this intimate again.