Tellison – U.L.U., London

By paul

Plus Canterbury & Loverman
London KCLSU
February 12th 2009

There was a period of about five minutes at the start of Loverman?s set where I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. Looking past the faux-Morrissey stylings of their lead singer (executed extremely badly, might I add) and the awful, awful noises coming from the bass amp, there were moments of Danko Jones/Zico Chain-influenced riffs and energy. However, Loverman are lacking in one substance that the aforementioned two bands have by the bucketload ? talent. Past song two, there?s nothing more here than inaudible pap, trying to cater for the twenty-something indie crowd. And who the hell did they think they were kidding ?covering? a Tellison song when supporting Tellison?

Fortunately, Canterbury manage to save the day with their excellent pop-rock enthusiasm and dual-vocal led performance. Bursting with energy and sing-alongs aplenty, this relatively unknown Surrey five-piece are sure to have won themselves a legion of fans tonight. Clearly enjoying themselves enormously, they?re as slick as can be, and I?m extremely excited to hear more from them soon?

By the time Tellison kick into the first line of ?Henry went to Paris?, frontman Stephen Davidson looks in genuine disbelief at both the size of the crowd (the venue is literally rammed) and just how many people in the room know every song word-for-word and part-for-part. The Hammersmith four-piece (sorry, five-piece now) are immensely cohesive and enjoyable to watch and the four new tracks they air tonight go down swimmingly, especially Collarbones which sees guitarist Peter Philips take lead vocals. Elsewhere, the likes of Disaster, Disaster and New York, New York, New York are played with such acute precision, yet the band still manages to be playful with them.

While Tellison may be surprised by their own popularity, after a show such as this one there?s no reason for them to be. Those of you that have been following them since the beginning will know all too well that they have the quality of songs and the musical ability to become super-massive. On the back of their performance tonight and their ever-growing fan base, they might just achieve that in the coming year.

Andy R