A one-line review of every gig I’ve been to in February 2023

This monthly series is probably more for my benefit than yours, but maybe your interest will be piqued by one of the reviews. Maybe you’ll scroll straight past. Maybe you’ll unsubscribe thinking what did I see in this blog in the first place?

deary, The Waiting Room, Stoke Newington, 2 February – Went to this gig on a whim as I’d been at the cinema down the road, and a quick flick on Spotify had suggested I would like deary. They said this was one of their first shows, and I absolutely adore going to see young bands making music that sounds thirty years old, this had a Cocteaus/Slowdive/shoegaze vibe and they were endearingly self-effacing about it all.

deary at the Waiting Room, Stoke Newington

Molly, The Waiting Room, Stoke Newington, 2 February – In a similar shoegaze/dreampop vein and they made quite a fearsome wall of noise at times considering it was just the two of them.

m-orchestra, Walthamstow Trades Hall, Walthamstow, 9 February – Some fool making music about ghosts on a laptop.

Quenta, Walthamstow Trades Hall, Walthamstow, 9 February – Really strong powerful voice with great range when used, but lots of this was taken up with shouting, bellowing, snorting, whooping, laughing and lots of other strange noises instead. Reminded me vibe-wise of the Wolfgang Press at times. Tremendous fun, would definitely see them again.

Quenta at Walthamstow Trades Hall

Jen Denitto Band, Shacklewell Arms, Dalston, 10 February – I’ve seen them a few times now and this was the best, a really great version of Linus’ Sweetcheeks and two strong new songs to finish. Plus I got roped in to filming some of it with a weird spy-camera contraption. Don’t ask.

Jen Denitto Band at the Shacklewell Arms

Dream Phone, Shacklewell Arms, Dalston, 10 February – At first I thought I’d wandered into the trending section of TikTok by mistake, two young women jumping up and down with chipmunk autotune vocals over beats, but then they also took turns with rock guitar over it and had the brilliant schtick of all the bits between songs being ansafone messages. Worth checking out.

Dream Phone at the Shacklewell Arms

Me Rex, Shacklewell Arms, Dalston, 10 February – The bits I liked sound like Futureheads/Maxïmo Park but it all felt a bit too calculated and aimed at festival crowd singalongs for me.

Me Rex at the Shacklewell Arms

Parenthesis dot dot dot, Betsy Trotwood, Farringdon, 11 February – Fun Pulp-ish indie-pop with witty lyrics – “The GPS and me, we agree to disagree” – and lots of energy, went down very well in a packed cellar.

(Some of) Parenthesis Dot Dot Dot at the Betsy Trotwood

The Understudies, Betsy Trotwood, Farringdon, 11 February – I didn’t know them at all, I went to this gig because my friend was playing in both bands, and The Understudies had a kind of melancholy Tindersticks/Spain/American Music Club vibe to them, which was an enjoyable surprise which made me think I should have come across them before.

Big Dummy, Trades Hall, Walthamstow, 23 February – I really really enjoyed this, they rotated around singers and like quite a few young bands I’ve seen recently have a really angry song about having to rent from private landlords who are arseholes. I’m looking forward to seeing them again at the same venue on 25 May.

Big Dummy at Walthamstow Trades Hall

Jenny Moore’s Mystic Business, Trades Hall, Walthamstow, 23 February – I only saw a couple of songs of this, quite chaotic in a good way, reminded me a bit of Piney Gir.

Jenny Moore’s Mystic Business at Walthamstow Trades Hall

The ABBA Stripes, The Waiting Room, Stoke Newington, 24 February – Charley and Mel play ABBA songs you know and love in the style of the White Stripes which you also know and love. Perfect.

The Abba Stripes at The Waiting Room – that person didn’t really have googly eyes on the back of their head I just didn’t get any good pics and then adding them made me laugh.

Sassyhiya, The Waiting Room, Stoke Newington, 24 February – Tight and taut indiepop including a lesbian love ode to Kristen Stewart – “In a fast car, in a sports bra” – the sentiments of which we could surely all get behind.

Sassyhiya at The Waiting Room