The ARAF Collective have set themselves the noble task of putting on free nights for bands and artists who are struggling financially. This evening at The Wreck in Camberwell is their first ever event, but you wouldn’t know it.
The tiny upstairs room above this South London pub is surprisingly rammed for headliners, The Caulfield Beats. Despite a set-up consisting of just two keyboards and a slightly timid-looking girl playing a tambourine, these three humble youngsters make one hell of a lot of noise.
Of course it helps that the speakers are cranked probably as high as they go in a small place like this, but The Caulfield Beats’ stacking of Django Django-style computer noises and powerful electronic riffs is certainly attention-grabbing.
Projected behind them are arty films which, though their relevance to the tracks is not always immediately obvious, do tie the performance together by adding a crucial visual hook as the two keyboard operators scarcely have a millisecond between beats to glance at the audience.
Their sound is predictably repetitive, as is seemingly compulsory for sample-based music, but the quirks of added guitar licks and video game-esque bleeps keep it on the interesting side of the spectrum, and on a dancefloor this really could get people moving.
It’s early days for everyone involved tonight, but with a bit of polish there is genuine potential here.