Last week I had the good fortune of attending an excellent multi band charity gig at the O2 Academy in Islington. It was called ‘London Rocking It For Pakistan‘ and at the time of writing has raised in excess of £3,000 for flood relief in Pakistan. Not only that but four great bands for just £10. The event was sponsored by those very nice people at the NME.
First up were Lazy Lion. Apologies to them for missing their first couple of songs because what I did see was pretty damned good. It would be difficult to compare these guys and girl. The instrumentation was a keyboard player (synthesiser I assume) and an extremely talented guitarist. That combination of instrumentation and some well accomplished rapping and singing worked very, very well. I think this collective has a future!
Next on were a three piece rock ensemble with a name that for me doesn’t really work. However that’s only my opinion. The K Shaped Rooms as they are called were truly stupendous. A classic line up of guitar, bass and drums. Some superb original songs too. But perhaps their secret weapon was the bass player, not just for his excellent playing but also for his massive and effervescent personality. He looked the part too, very rockist fashion sense plus the long hair and beard. He sure knows how to work an audience. I would definitely pay to see these guys again. Reading Festival bookers are you listening?
Second on the bill were the band who for me have by far the best name I have heard in ages; Rockwork Orange. Now ordinarily I’m not too much into covers bands but this lot were brilliant. Everything from Blondie’s “One Way Or Another” to the Kaiser Chiefs “I Predict A Riot” and some T Rex along the way. The female vocalist has a very strong and adaptable voice and the band were one of the tightest I’ve seen in ages. The music appeared to be directed by the bass player who played his instrument with a plectrum. I can’t remember the last time I saw that. He switched to guitar later in the set too. Rockwork Orange know their stuff and certainly know how to rock.
By this time I was thinking can this get any better? Well let me tell you it did! Headliners the Velvetines are something else entirely; looks, sound, songs and energy, they have it all. The rhythm section keep things really well together. The bass player also rocks a really cool eastern look. Then there are the sisters who are the guitarist and the singer. I use the word sparingly but they are truly awesome! The 70s style body suits, wonderful stage presence, well rehearsed playing and really classy vocals. I really want this band to go on to bigger things. Once again are you listening Reading Festival bookers? I would definitely pay to see any of the bands on this bill again, but especially the Velvetines. If they are playing anywhere near you buy a ticket, even if you have to sell your grandmother to do so!