Now hold on, I know what you’re thinking. Sneaky Pete’s may sound like the secret lair of a Wacky Races’ character but don’t be April fooled. This in fact the snug venue that on Friday housed Demob Happy, along with local bands Stellar Fuse, Caravan Club and Acrylic.
First up was Stellar Fuse: a hard-hitting four piece with Gossip influences. Then Caravan Club brought us a gang that illustrated what would happen if Belle & Sebastian ate Calexico: Folk meets Mariachi. The last native band of the night, Acrylic, blew both previous bands out the water with their tight indie rock. Two parts Beach Fossils, 1 part Bombay Bicycle Club and dripping in psychedelic promises. The highlight came at the end of their set when they burst forth with the energy of 65daysstatic ripping in to ‘Retreat! Retreat!’ With the conclusion of the home-grown it was time for Demob Happy to take to the stage.
So where do you start with a band like Demob Happy? Let’s try 3 years ago at The 500 Festival in London’s Shoreditch: the birthplace of this reviewer’s interest. In between the mini festival’s cluster of mediocre bands there rose Demob Happy, like the world’s last hope for rock redemption. The inspiration of the impact laid in the distinct memory of the bass and drums from that afternoon, with the groove and power respectively dropping a deep craving for more. Fast-forward to 2015 and Demob Happy are here to deliver the goods: unadulterated, heavy, head-banging rock.
Amongst the set was the fast paced ‘Suffer You’, which saw the band grab the audience by the collective scruff of the neck and shake them around. Then came the intense garage re-imagining of Technohead’s ‘I Wanna Be A Hippy’ (seriously – look up both just to compare). Front man and bassist, Matt Marcantonio, then hounded the crowd with the predatory bass growl opening to ‘Succubus’ and they then finished with ‘Young & Numb’. Another bass driven song that heaves forward until the hallucinogenic chorus (“I know you’re making, you’re making me, you’re making me sick”). While the band ended on a high, drummer Tom ironically ended it on the floor after crashing through his drums following his final surge of brute drumming. His devotion to constantly make noise is true testament to the live credentials of this band, and the effort and energy they yield.
If you’ve been looking for a band to save your faith in all things guitar then look no further. With the promise of an EP and further touring this April, now is the time to discover Demob Happy.