Chew Lips - Islington Academy London
London's Chew Lips have recently released their debut album Unicorn to the masses. The electro pop offering has become a firm favourite in the Fix front room with several scribes savoring its contents.
I was lucky enough to watch the trio supporting Supergrass spin off The Hot Rats at The Garage earlier in the month, enjoying what I saw so jumped at the chance to see them again at the capital's Islington Academy, playing as part of a NME show in support to New Young Pony Club.
Chew Lips consist of Tigs on vocals and multi-instrumentalists Will Sanderson and James Watkins, with Tig taking centre spot while the lads stay firmly behind their keyboards. The band took to the dimly lit stage, kicking off things with album opener "Eight", moving on to recent single "Play Together", one of the best tracks on the collection.
At one point in the set Tigs took a moment to let the audience know how Unicorn was faring chart wise, with a decent top 20 position in the i-tunes chart, above JLS but below Alvin And The Chipmunks. Tigs mentioned the same thing at the previous show so I hope coming second to a chipmunk isn't going give the poor girl a complex for the rest of her days! I know Midge Ure was never the same after "Shaddup Your Face" kept "Vienna" of the top of the charts anyway. Her "DAMN CHIPMUNKS" cry did have me a little worried, I must admit! ...
I was enjoying the first few songs of the set a lot but at midway point I felt things were slightly lacking compared to how I remembered them from their previous show. Well, the ante was upped the minute Will and James left the safety of their keyboards to play guitar and bass (Step away from the Korg boys!), with the bass line from the band's second single "Salt Air" really getting things moving, with Tigs punching and shimmying her way through the track.
This was the Chew Lips I remembered and they didn't let up as the set continued, with "Karen" and an exquisite version of slightly slower song "Gold Key" complete with its excellent closing guitar solo coming next.
The band ended their shortish set with debut single "Solo" no doubt gaining a few new fans since they took to the stage. The crowd seemed happy enough to join in with a few Shakira style howls before the song's start so it seems like they've got them in the palm of their hands already!
Chew Lips looks as if they're set for a great year, with numerous gigs in the pipeline, including sets at Austin's prestigious SXSW Festival, Camden Crawl, supports with Delphic and headlining dates to follow.