Camden-based Fears let the good times roll with support from Clever Thing and Kindred Shins.
Itâ€™s still quite early in the evening, but the Black Heart has a good sized crowd in time for the opening act, Clever Thing. The recently formed Brighton four-piece, include Bad For Lazarus members, Daisy Coburn and Rich Fownes, on guitars. Joining them are drummer James Drohan and Charles Buttons playing bass and keyboard. The set is a mix of heavy blues with a swing punk vibe. The voices of Coburn and Fownes work well together, especially on “Get Snappy” which is available via Soundcloud.
Kindred Shins the purveyors of ‘Tramprock’ follow, playing their brand of dirty, grungy blues-soaked rock. The set blends old and new songs together effortlessly. Sonny, Dave, Leon, and Bean play with high-energy throughout, and highlights include the brilliant “Sweet and the Strange” and as yet unreleased “There She Blows” before finally coming to an impressive finish with the energetic “Spitter” as they stomp and bounce across the stage. The Shins are exactly what is needed to fire up everybody.
Fears come into the gig having already played a hugely successful monthly residency at The Camden Monarch this year. The small room is packed as the band take the stage and we all await the entrance of frontman, Jonny Fears. He swaggers on as the opening song, “Bad Taste,” begins. Jonny oozes confidence, and his charming rapport drags the audience closer, encouraging them to join Fears rock n’ roll party.
And what a party it is! The songs are punchy, gritty, and current yet have a 50s feel to them, without being passÃ©. Their most recent release, “The Squeeze,” is a prime example. The track starts with Ric Gingellâ€™s fuzz-filled riffs and the bass of Nick Bavin before Matt Dean brings in his pounding drums between the guitars. Itâ€™s impossible not to tap your foot along to the groovy, rhythmic rock song which has the crowd dancing and moving. Jonnyâ€™s vocal is bursting with passion but delivered with control. The chorus, “I can feel the squeeze,” could easily become an anthem for the band as it is an irresistible sing-along.
“She Moves Like The Devil” and “Faster” are different yet have that same rocking edge to which the crowd dance, jump, and sing along. If you wanted to a good time, you came to the right place. Fears want to have fun on stage and for their audience to be a part of that.
The set ends with “Tap on the Shoulder,” which is far too soon for the enthusiastic crowd. They cry out for more but to no avail.
Donâ€™t worry Camden; with nights like this, Fears will be around for long time to come. Expect bigger things during 2016.