The Sounds - King's College London
Swedish Rockers The Sounds have been keeping a fairly low profile in the UK for the last year or so, only popping over in 2011 for a couple of shows in London and Brighton, helping to promote recent album Something To Die For. This year the band have returned to these shores for another pair of gigs, taking in Glasgow and London as part of an extensive European tour, performing with The Limousines and DJ Kids At The Bar .
I was fortunate enough to view two shows from the five piece Stateside in 2011 at Austin’s SXSW event and also caught their very intimate gig in Brighton as part of the Great Escape Festival, with the band producing a trio of excellent sets - some of the best I’ve seen them play, in fact. I was slightly hesitant about heading along to the band’s performance at London’s King’s College as I dislike the venue but I knew the band would be on great form as they’ve never let me down yet, so left my house around 6.30, grabbing my train in fairly decent weather, exiting Temple tube station around thirty minutes later, and finding myself in a Winter Wonderland!
I joined a miserable looking crowd outside the venue and braved the falling snow with them, eventually entering King's College around thirty minutes later damp and cold! I had to get in reasonably early as the venue doesn't have a photo pit and I managed to worm my way to a spot in the second row where I would stay for the rest of the evening.
DJ Kids At The Bar had already kicked his set off by the time I arrived, and he was swiftly followed by San Francisco duo The Limousines. The pair pulled tracks from their debut album Get Sharp alongside covers of New Order's 'Temptation' and Paul Simon's 'You Can Call Me Al'. This was my first encounter with the band and I found their radio friendly electro pop repertoire well worth a second listen. Vocalist Eric Victorino also impressed as he delivered a rowdy performance, geeing up the crowd, including a few American fans down the front who had turned up just to watch the duo, making them feel at home on a cold London evening.
The Sounds now have four albums under their belts. This has enabled them to pretty much produce a 'Greatest Hits' set for this tour and they had the audience in the palms of their hands from the opening song 'It's So Easy' and when 'Dance With Me' from second album Dying To Say This To You appeared three songs in the place erupted!
A Sounds crowd can be a rowdy lot at times and it was a task standing my ground trying to get a few decent shots but it's hard not to come home without a handful on your memory card as lead singer Maja Ivarsson is such a dynamic performer, always holding your attention, whether poised on the drum riser, crawling on the floor or joining her band member Jesper Anderberg for a bit of crowd surfing!
The band's set was pretty frantic throughout but Maja was able to have a wee bit of a rest halfway through, delivering ballad 'Night After Night', with the capacity crowd perfoming most of the chorus, with things kicking in again straight after when 'Painted by Numbers' and 'Queen of Apology' appeared.
King's College is probably the biggest London venue the band have played in years without a crowd barrier and the audience down the front were making the most of the fact, with hands outstretched throughout the night as everyone wanted some attention from singer Maja. Well, many of them left extremely happy, including one girl who shared an adorable moment with Maja as the singer pinched her nose after chatting to her during an instrumental break, only to have the tables turned when the girl pinched hers, surprising the vocalist slightly!
A couple of audience members went home with an even bigger story to tell as after encoring with a stunning 'Tony the Beat' the band completed their set with 'Hope You're Happy Now' from their debut album, leading to one guy from the crowd jumping up on stage to "gyrate" with Maya and the song ended with a beaming girl joining the singer on vocals for the remainder of the track.
The Sounds deliver an extremely passionate performance onstage but they're also a band that care passionately about their fans and it always shows in their gigs. My thirty minute trip to the venue took me almost two hours on my return home but it was certainly worth it as the band are still one of the best live acts around!
Last updated: 04/05/2018 05:18:32