Erin K & Tash - Underbelly, London
If there’s a better freebie to receive at a gig than cupcakes, we’re yet to come across it. Obviously, we’re not weak enough to be completely won over by delicious treats but little touches like this – along with others such as lyric stickers and vegan vanilla and almond ‘coins’ – that adorn Erin K & Tash’s single launch gig certainly add a warm and cosy feeling the moment we step into the rammed (as in not even standing room only) Hoxton Underbelly. That feeling extends long into the night thanks to the duo’s winning live performance that delivers laughs and toe-tapping melodies in equal measure.
Given that they have yet to even release their debut single (‘Coins’ is out this coming Monday), it’s somewhat remarkable that they sail through an hour-long set without any sag, evidence of an enviable catalogue of tracks-in-waiting. Partly this is down to their instantly likeable stage presence with a healthy dose of self-deprecation – there’s a debate over whether ‘The Dum Dum Song’ is boring, ending with Erin jokingly insulting an audience member – and the fact that behind their quirky charms and delicate guitars, lurks witty, cutting and filthy lyrics. It’s this contrast that makes the filth all the more delectable, such as on ‘There’s Not Really Something About Mary’ about Erin’s ex who cheated on her when she was in India, and ‘Jiggy Miggy’, about a fuck buddy (who turns out to be in the audience tonight), with lyrics including the subject of running out of rubbers and the sexual prowess of the person in question – “38 minutes / Nine-and-a-half inches / That is the love that Jiggy throws in my direction”.
But it’s not just all about memorable lyrics and eye-catching titles (including the likes of ‘Sorry I’m Not Black’ and ‘Assholio’), musically, Erin K & Tash are exquisite. From the fabulous vocal harmonies to some stunning mariachi-esque guitars that Tash delivers on ‘The Horse Head Song’, you’ll be hard pushed to find a flaw. It means that while their output might be made up of basic elements (two guitars, bass, drums), every track is at the very least interesting and frequently entertaining – our highlight has to go to the Tash’s xylophone stylings on ‘Heart Out’ though for sheer irresistible quirkiness; there’s just not enough xylophones in modern music these days.
And when you add all the elements together, you’re left with one of the most exciting new acts around. Like The Moldy Peaches gone a little bit rogue, Erin K & Tash’s set left us wanting more – something which was delivered as Erin proclaimed that it was too fun to stop after traditional closer ‘The Horse Head Song’, complete with the drummer adorned with a plastic horse’s head for the duration. Which pretty much sums the duo up: offbeat and memorable but, crucially, not forgetting to deliver fantastic music along the way as well. If there’s any justice in the world, we’ll be seeing a lot more of Erin K & Tash in 2012.
CRAZY & INSANE
SEXY CUPCAKE DITTY
THERE'S NOT REALLY SOMETHING ABOUT MARY
SORRY I'M NOT BLACK
THE DUM DUM SONG
PEANUT AND THE PEA
THE HORSE HEAD SONG