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London Camden Monarch

[B]Astrid[/B]'s pop sound is so pure, so concentrated, that they are almost overpowering (in a gorgeous, sublime fashion). [B]Charles[/B] and [a]William[/a]'s harmonies are needle-sharp perfect, ful

London Camden Monarch

You look at Astrid onstage, four kids rocking out like speedo muppets, tight, lean and sweaty like they've just come back from summer season in the Reeperbahn. And then you try and reconcile that with their sound: sugar-sweet choruses cruising over crashing acoustic chords, that elusive, perfect pop soundtracking the greatest summer of your life.

Astrid's pop sound is so pure, so concentrated, that they are almost overpowering (in a gorgeous, sublime fashion). Charles and William's harmonies are needle-sharp perfect, full-strength sweeps of AM Gold radio magic, transmitters set to stun. They've got that loveable, shambolic Teenage Fanclub thing going on, leaping and shrieking and vibrating and frenetically freaking out behind their mics, gloriously alive and lost in their magical pop.

And the songs... 'It's True', the current single, is a delicious, gloopy pool of hooks, drums welling up with shimmering guitars and shining vocals, 'I Can See You' all storming gilded attack, 'Boy Or Girl' a sumptuously dippy mouthful of bubblegum with heartmelting lyrics ("I don't care if you're a boy or a girl/You rock my world"). They end with a cover of The Monkees' 'A Little Bit Me A Little Bit You', a bona fide pop classic. And it's the weakest song played tonight.

The Lemonheads' lightness of touch, The Posies' infectious joy, played with The Ramones' dumb attack. If you like pop music, you could love Astrid.

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