by Cameron Gordon | originally published at SoulShine
Anglo-inspired rock action fused all through the Elmo this evening. First up was The Daybreak, a 4-piece new wave-cum-noise outfit that straddled the line between tuneful and atonal. There was some DNA evidence of solid song craft and tunesmanship present but the band suffered from lack of emotion or stage presence. Singer Sumon Mukherjee’s unruly yowl didn’t help either. The Daybreak seem like they have potential and their saving grace may be Mike Dawson doing his version of Keith Moon behind the kit.
Headliners Showroom took the stage to some prefab entrance theme, a grossly underused technique that more bands should use. The largely collegiate crowd swelled upfront to meet their heroes/roommates and singer Ben Hutchinson began to twitch and spazz through the band’s set, largely made up of tunes from their recently release debut Still Escalator. Showroom’s rollicking forkfuls of indie guitar flippity flop seems to transcend 25-30 years of Britain’s best: The Housemartins, Squeeze and especially The Smiths were accounted for in the strum-to-noise ratio. Guitarist Rory Lindsay displayed some impressive chops, chiming away at his guitar and striking some good natured posturing for kicks, while drummer Tyler Dokis made a hell of a backbone for the band’s routine. Up front, Hutchinson seem to tire about six songs in and it ultimately affected his vocal range somewhat but his natural frontman magnetism helped compensate for any short comings. The bands set was punctuated by a pair of covers; a chunky version of the Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer” that featured some inventive drum fills by Dokis and a pretty faithful rendition of The Police’s “Roxanne”. Seeing the band pay homage to their influences, it all seemed right and natural, and good and clean.
Overall, Showroom has a very comfortable, very familiar sound and their collection of short, sharp pop songs should serve them well. The Showroom is now open.