taffy - The Windmill, Brixton

As our chat progresses shortly after taffy’s arrival at The Windmill, Iris informs me that the band has never toured Japan. A few local gigs within the Tokyo scene is about as much exposure as they’ve received back home, with the foursome having been together for barely more than a year. It seems fitting though that they should commence their most important tour here in ol’ Blighty - their second visit to the UK - tucked away in a small pub located in the heart of Brixton, which has become synonymous with hosting some of the finest independent music around. And it doesn’t get much more indie than taffy, who has been compared to just about every major brit-pop band from the nineties onward.

Asking if they’ve ever grown tired of hearing the same questions about the shaping of their music they insistently reply with a no. “It’s nice”, Iris says, “But (laughing as she covers her ears) I don’t want to hear any of these bands.” Bassist Koichin on the other hand seems all too aware, with appraisal for the UK scene. There’s a sense that they don’t care for much for labels though; call them shoegaze or alternative, they’ll just go with the flow and stay focused on a sound that they’ve so cleanly honed.

As taffy prepared to go on stage at around 22:00pm there were good vibes in the air. How could there not be after the eccentric performance of Vienna Ditto? I’m not sure that there’s any real method to the madness but Hattie Taylor’s sultry jazzy vocals fused with Nigel Firth’s seemingly random keyboard and guitar shenanigans just worked, and with an incredible amount laughter, beaming smiles and contorted faces it really was a perfect highlight of the evening. They were followed by fellow Club AC30 signing You Walk Through Walls. The trio of Matt, James and Harry, whose roots largely lie with shoegaze, delivered an enjoyable selection of well-crafted numbers which juxtaposed well with that of the headliners.

Despite the room not exactly being filled out, there were enough good folk around to lend support as taffy quickly set up and kicked off with eager smiles all round. The response to their performance was perfect, with cheers after just about every song. This little band from Japan sure captured some hearts with its beautifully structured melodies, along with well-delivered English vocals. taffy deserves to - and has what it takes - to become as recognised in the UK (and perhaps across Europe) as the likes of Shonen Knife as it taps into a familiar feel-good sound, whilst carrying the kind of positive attitude which can so effortlessly brighten up - much like tonight - an otherwise cold and gloomy evening.

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Tags taffy
Category Live Review

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