Die Shellsuit, Die!

An Alternative Music Magazine

Concorde 2, Brighton - Friday February 26th 2010

Local Natives

Turning up late to a gig is a pet hate for me, and having the taxi driver asking “which way?

” my mood is currently running at maniacal. Once at the bar, I find myself surrounded by a swarm of people leaving the main hall - support act missed. It was Brighton locals Peggy Sue and from post show listens, I missed a treat.

I really enjoyed the Local Natives album “Gorilla Manor” as it sounds huge at points, with sweeping strings weaving in and out of rim shots and harmonized vocals. So once a few jars had been sunk to ease me into the show I noticed that I was part of a small segment of over 25’s - it was like the queue for a Topshop sale. Maybe a slight departure from the gigs I normally go to, but everyone was in high spirits, so I was taken along by the youthful energy of the attendees.

The Californian four piece take the stage to fever pitched squeal that was reminiscent of the shots of hysterical Take That fans back in’t day. The band themselves are reminiscent of preppy stalwarts Vampire Weekend and Fleet Foxes but with more oomph. Although it’s a shame that a lot of the album’s production cannot be recreated live. Well, without additional help; a live string section would add a lot more to their live show. Two things are apparent when watching Local Natives, firstly the bassist couldn’t look more “I want to be in a reggae band SO bad” if he tried and seems genuinely bored. The other grumble I have is that the band take turns in splaying a floor tom and cymbal when not playing their own instrument. I imagine this hides the drummer’s shortcomings, but it seems pointless to be standing next to a keyboard and instead of adding another layer of sound, they would rather play along like some trustafarian called Charles using an oil drum to create a scene from every Reading festival from the last fifteen years (You know the ones). Poor drummer.

“Camera Talks”, ”Sun Hands” and “Airplanes” were all aired albeit more stripped, which is difficult to pull off to great effect when they seem to rely on studio trickery to create their sound. Or maybe it’s the venue; the Concorde is a strange one in that it doesn’t lend any atmosphere to the proceedings.

Highlights of the show were the beefed up “Wide Eyes” and the (sorry Byrne fans) “superior to the original” version of Talking Heads’ “Warning Sign”. So not a bad show by any means, but it seems the album’s subtleties are wasted on some of the crowd tonight and in another venue or outside maybe…with more help onstage. This could have been great.

Listen: www.myspace.com/localnatives