Monday, July 23, 2007

Next up for review - New Young Pony Club

Now in this case I had heard good things about NYPC but almost nothing of their material (except for the single 'Ice Cream') before Latitude and so, as they were headlining the Sunrise Arena on Friday evening, they were high on my list of "must see acts". In fact I was so confident that I would like it I actually ordered their album Fantastic Playroom, which was released on 9th July on Australian label 'Modular Recordings' even though they are a London band and on vinyl as it is available thus, the evening before departing. It actually arrived the day I returned and it was to prove a "good thing" - it instantly transported me back to the previous Friday evening and reminded me why a few bruised ribs were sustained in a wholly good cause.

The Sunset Arena was a venue too small for them and I can well see them performing on the Uncut Stage, or even the main stage, at this (or other similar events) next summer. I suspect that they might follow a trajectory similar to that which CSS have enjoyed in the last year.
The album Fastastic Playroom isn't as good as I expected it to be - it is, in a surprisingly measured and amazingly controlled sort of way, far better than I imagined it would be; perhaps I find it this way because it was a bit unusual to have heard them live before hearing the album? On the other hand it is very largely by playing live that they have secured their current enviable reputation. Go figure - as yet I can't - but no complaints!
Their live performance, whipped to a frenzy by icon-in-waiting Tahita Bulmer, really was quite special and certainly not rambling or self-indulgent. It was stopped once, fairly early on, when the barrier at the front of the stage collapsed and also terminated five minutes early; in both cases the reason given was "Health & Safety" and for once in this dangerously over-regulated world it actually seemed plausible!

This was the moment they launched the set with single 'Ice Cream'.

Photograpy was by this time getting rather difficult and by the time they performed 'The Bomb' it was impossible at the front of the boisterous crowd; not helped by an extremely uneven surface that, while the crowd was entirely good-natured, threatened to cause everyone to collapse in a huge heap. The Sunset Arena is a tent set up in what is really no more than a clearing in the woods and as such it is rather better suited to more earthy music...

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