Shiny Darkly / Snake & Jet’s Amazing Bullit Band, Old Blue Last, 29 January 2013

With no introduction, a tall, slim, bespectacled man – a sort of blonde version of Darren Hayman – steps onto the stage at the Old Blue Last. He announces he and his bandmates are the long-windedly named Snake & Jet’s Amazing Bullit Band, all the way from Copenhagen, before they dive into an impressive set of laid-back indie tracks.

Their sound screams of the 1990s, but of all the very best bits, driven by solid walking bass lines and a low, modest, very pleasant vocal set way back in the arrangement.

With their upbeat vibe comes a certain eccentricity, made most obvious by S&JABB’s front man’s constant kissing… He kisses his guitar, his kisses his microphone, he blows kisses to his fans. He embraces a manner opposite to that of your average rock star, or even your average Brit, but on a rainy London evening, it brightens the night.

Next up are headliners Shiny Darkly, whose achingly tight jeans and cool hair cuts automatically set them apart from the chilled out approach of their predecessors. Their sound, too, is in stark contrast, excepting the set-back vocals which sound echoing and distant and bring their heavier instrumentation to the fore.

Shiny Darkly mix some very fast drumming with a habit of having every instrument play the same rhythm at the same time. Brought to life in the lead singer’s jittering swagger, the result is a sense of tension, urgency and almost panic that has your heart racing.

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