Once again I've had the pleasure of attending the Fortuna Pop! Winter Sprinter as my first series of gigs in the new year which, as tradition dictates, meant that the Lexington in London became something of a second home for much of last week!
Things kicked off in fantastically unexpected style on Tuesday night with Mega Emotion taking to the stage. Up tempo, loud, synth heavy electro pop (at least to my mind) smothered in wonderful harmonies was the order of the day. What more could anyone possibly have wanted from the opening act of twelve set to play over the following four nights.
Second up were Evans the Death who, as ever, managed to begin with a false start on the first song before finding their stride perfectly well. Their sound seems to have developed an increasingly heavy edge of late which is always interesting to me, while still managing to retain what makes them individual. A couple of the new songs played sounded sounded extremely good and I for one can't wait to discover what direction a new album might take them in. The band appear to be playing as a slightly tighter unit than has sometimes been the case which is always positive…although having said that my personal feeling is that they perhaps need a full time bass player, for live duties at least, in order for the sound to develop (or maybe revert) towards the twin guitar onslaught of earlier performances. It may well be entirely in this writer's mind but both Dan and Olly appeared happier when the other took over bass duties.
Having said that I'm quite sure that Evans the Death deserve to be much more widely known than they already are, and undoubtedly will be before too long!
After an unfortunate (albeit slightly amusing to the onlooker) start combining faulty guitar / amp lead, guitar strap falling off and a broken string in the first song, Let's Wrestle recovered admirably quickly to headline the first night. The addition of a new bass player to the lineup has really solidified the bands sound, and further emphasises the quality of the musicianship in what are deceptively simple songs.
It was immediately striking that the echo effect on the mic in particular did make things sound a little like John Lennon playing live with the Plastic Ono Band, but that might also be in part a function of Let's Wrestle ultimately playing a very enjoyable rock & roll sound. Either way, there are certainly more traumatic things which one could be reminded of while watching a band and I considered it to be a very much positive attribute! The set was good fun as always and covered a well balanced selection of older songs and new stuff from the forthcoming album due imminently on Fortuna Pop!
All in all the night was a great start to the Sprinter, and in fact a very much suitable first full gig of the year!!
More from the following nights to follow...