AN important thing happened on a random evening this past week in a ramshackle pub in Dalston. In a small way, deep below the surface for those who care, the game changed just a little bit. The band in question is called Advert, founded by friends Luke and Edgar, whose initial gigs were a sonic onslaught along the lines of bringing a Boeing 747 engine into the venue. I mean, Advert are a band whose previous aim was to make everybody present ears bleed. The last time I saw them play, a stage monitor literally burst into flames. I liked it, it was interesting and tangible, painful in a way that you don’t object to, like being beaten up by Mike Tyson or something – painful but you’re pleased it happened. I never expected to be humming an Advert line after I left the gig, however this evening, Advert unveiled a set of new material with a difference, and this difference was simple; melody. Akin to how a phoenix rises from a pile of ashes, Advert’s new sound emerged from a swell of ear crushing feedback. Unlike a Phoenix however, Advert never died.
The last time I saw them play, a stage monitor literally burst into flames. I liked it; it was interesting and tangible, painful in a way that you don’t object to, like being beaten up by Mike Tyson or something – painful but you’re pleased it happened.
Under the screaming guitars, it turns out that Luke and Edgar have a startling report. The harmonies and melodies in Advert’s new material signaled that something might be underway for this band, and if it’s what they want, then this might only be the start. The best part is that Advert have already told us that they don’t care. I stood in the Shacklewell Arms fully expecting my face to be melted off with pure noise, and instead I was treated to four people doing what they love, and doing it very well.
From the perspective of a – partial – observer, the east London music scene, or any other kind of scene, is quite easy to be critical of. I mean, one could say that the Shoreditch stamp is a pretty definitive turn-off when you’re looking for the genuine article. If I’m speaking nonsense to you here, then let’s just consider it as true that the half-life of a band borne out of London’s creative district is pretty short. I’m not saying it’s a rule; it’s just arguable. There’s only so long you can be all new and weird before the NME tour offers start drying up. I said it, it was me, I’ll take the bullet for that one, hands up.
So the fact that I’m writing about this band, and telling you to go and see them, is testament to their worth. They haven’t even recorded their new stuff yet; I don’t even want to describe it because I know full well it’ll be defenestrated (look it up) by the time they write the next one. Whatever it is, though, will be great. They know it, I know it, some other people know it, now go and experience it for yourself.
If you want my advice, go and see them at 1234 Shoreditch festival, before they decide one day to get out of bed and be massive, and you’ll wish you’d caught them when they were still experimenting in small pubs and a wave of young scallywags hadn’t all got on the bandwagon and spilt your piña colada.
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