Almost a year on after record company, Parlophone released Saint Motel’s EP – ‘My Type’ in the UK they are back at Dingwalls, Camden, to where it all started. Along with them, the Minnesotan indie band, Hippo Campus entertained us for the first half of the small gig.
Hippo Campus, four young lads from the American state of Minnesota, producing indie pop/rock music. Kicking off with ‘Souls’, which got the crowd swaying and nodding in approval. Next, going straight into ‘Opportunistic’, and you can already seeing sweat pouring down frontman Jake’s face. And had to take off his knitted jumper in the end. Songs ‘Sophie So’ and ‘Suicide Saturday’ caught the crowd at its liveliest. With the loud chorus and a beat that you can easily jump too.
30 minutes after Hippo Campus finished there set, the indie pop quartet, Saint Motel to set up and complete a sound check.Then leaving again for 15 minutes before coming back on. (We already knew the set list due to frontman A/J leaving a laminated piece of paper on the floor). A huge cheer and whistles followed before going straight into first track ‘Feed Me Now’, with the guitars clanging briskly while the vocals ascend from high tenor to outright falsetto. A/J Jackson carries a very strong sense of style with him what’s not to love? Next song ‘Honest Feedback’, the injection of Caribbean lilts, stomping beats and lounge-jazz licks into giddy power-pop was another great crowd goer. As Dingwalls capacity is about 500 max. It was a good chance to get up close and personal with the crowd standing on top of the speaker. You could literally touch him!
‘Benny Goodman’ and ‘Puzzle Pieces’ seemed to be a crowd favourite, shouting out Benny Goodman as loud as they could. A/J looked like it was his favourite as well, when his glasses fell of whilst crouching down level to play the keyboard solo. ‘Daydream/ Wetdream/ Nightmare’, a five minute combination of songs, a more slow paced song by the Californians, which gave the crowd to get singing along in perfect time with the band. Guitarist Aaron Sharp, got the crowd clapping for the beginning of Wetdream, and then A/J got the Men to sing with Aaron and the girls to singing when A/J does. It felt like being at a Kaiser Chiefs gig, when Rickie Wilson gets parts of the crowd singing along. Now, for the climax. 1997 – The year I was born – was introduced with screams, whistles, you name it. The now everyone was starting to get into it. Again A/J getting down low for the keyboard sections. The iconic piano riff, backed up by drumming and the trumpeting concluded song from full album ‘Voyeur’.
A/J and the rest of the crew take a short break to warm everyone up for the next few songs, and joke about the extra-large towels. These songs are what made their name in the UK thanks to German record company Parlophone. ‘Ace In The Hole’ is first up, one of the slower songs in their new EP, and gave drummer Greg Erwin to calm down after frantically drumming in the previous six songs. The piano filled ‘Midnight Movies’ and ‘Cold Cold Man’ is completely loved by all 500 people in the building, even a few small mosh pits were coming along. Finally, their hit single ‘My Type’ was last but not least the best song ever! (It even features on FIFA 15) Everybody jumping and people behind pushing almost made you fall into their equipment.
And of course that wasn’t the last of them just like what everyone does, out they come for the encore withheavy indie rock songs ‘Hands Up Robert’ and ‘Stories’ are two perfect songs to end on. The crowd were able to go absolutely mental and just rave before leaving. Once they said their goodbyes and move on towards Italy, drummer Greg threw one of his battered and bruised drum sticks to the crowd – which I managed to catch! All in all it was an immense night enjoyed by all and we look forward with more things to come from, Saint Motel.
Greg Erwin’s Drum Stick