The Lexington, London
When a person will say something like, “I hate eggs”, it might not necessarily be the delicious egg’s fault, or the persons. No, in fact the problem might be that they were force fed eggs at one time or another after politely declining a portion and ended up puking their fucking guts out, thereby associating eggs with putrid and curdy yellowish projectile vomit. Not fun for anyone, to be fair. Whilst growing up hearing the term, Current Affairs, which was almost always synonymous with prime-time news instead of sitcoms pushing the limits of their evangelical network censors, and thus dull. Even though world events, as you enter adulthood (it’s a journey ‘til death or so we’re told), might leave a bad taste in your mouth, Current Affairs are still very much a part of everyday life that we’ve got to choke down. Until now. Enter, Current Affairs, band and disrupters of contemporary vernacular.
BBC 6’s Steve Lamacq lazily describes Glasgow/Berlin based C.A. as ‘gets better with every listen’, way to ring out every nuance out of it buddy, but we can’t say he’s wrong. We caught their headline set, which built up some serious steam across their 11-song performance. The band compares visually (on stage performers but especially their merch) and stylistically to a Lego project that’s had the instructions thrown out the window. Clearly, it’s a mishmash of rogue components, but maybe it works even better having gone off script? The members were drawn into each others orbits, solidified and cooled, with their present four-piece line-up in 2020.
Watching bands set up is a uniform, yet unique experience, case in point drummer, Andrew Milk (of We Are Shopping who are also fucking excellent) removing and refitting their shoes. Repeatedly. Rocking a homebrew T with DICKS FROM TEXAS plastered all over it bedazzled in stars. Lucky ritual or neurosis, what's the difference? The rest of the gang lurked about on the dimly lit stage setting up. In the periphery, polka dot wunderkind Gemma ‘where does my shirt stop and polka dot bass start?’, caught our eye. Nifty! Everyone and their dog has been describing Joan Sweeney’s vocals as the re-incarnation of Siouxsie and the Banshees. We were adamant that we’d avoid that pitfall but (Butts!) when the set kicked off with ‘Riled’ roaring out it was undeniable, she is Siouxsie Sioux re-incarnate. If anyone says otherwise, grab’em by the legs, and throw them down the stairs.
Just shy of halfway through their set, ‘Cahoots’ pitches both punchy beats, up from a melancholic start, and cheesy banter between the members lead by, you guessed it, Andrew Milk. He really got fixed on the dual pressure climates on stage, hot lights vs A/C, there were no takers and audience seemed befuddled. We, however, were impressed with the off the cuff commentary, let the record show. ‘Casual Radicals’ borrowed its distinct wavy guitar sounds from The Orielles with some really approachable warm vibes. ‘No Fuss’ and ‘Reactor’ were our set faves for different reasons. The former was a really well put together and solid song, the rehearsals came across on this one. The latter and their latest single, before releasing their latest album in July, Off The Tongue, ‘Reactor’ was a crowd favourite with huge energy that got everyone moving. We imagine that was the intent and the plan went off seamlessly.
By the time you read this review, you’ll be sad to hear that the band will have finished this leg of touring, so you won’t have an opportunity to form your own opinion on Current Affairs live performance, yet. Never fear, that’s our job though, just take our word for it blindly! You can add them on your socials and stream their jangly and nostalgic for the ‘80s noir wave goodness in the meantime. We’d recommend also picking up some psychedelic merch as an artefact to live on through the ages though, it’s super unique and collage-y. We’ll sign off here but not before mentioning something we caught in the press blurbs, Gemma’s mantra – “Everyone’s welcome, but don’t get it twisted”. True say.