Tahita Bulmer and co go pop and show the new breed how it’s done as New Young Pony Club, Metronomy, Make Model and thecocknbullkid play KOKO, London (February 12)
If there were fears thecocknbullkid wouldn’t be able to translate her demos to the stage they’re dashed tonight. All the intricate circuitry that made her MySpace tunes so brilliantly odd come together via her new three-piece band. On tracks such as ‘More Gold’ the opening keyboard salvo sounds like a thousand council-flat windows being smashed while the lyrics detail a relationship going off the rails. If she’s concerned with rabid futurism, Make Model are all about twisting the past into new pop shapes. Dipping into the ’80s synth sheen of Prefab Sprout via Maps and a Los Campesinos! boy-girl vocal interplay (‘The Was’), it’s not hard to imagine an indie nation taking these tunes to their collective hearts. Later, Metronomy’s dizzy, post-ambient soundscapes lurch like multicoloured shapes in the sky. ‘Radio Ladio’ bruises the heart like a lost Hot Chip song, while co-opting a brace of dancers for ‘You Could Easily Have Me’ is a brilliant masterstroke of screwing with the ‘We’re just a dance band’ template.
Since they popped their new rave cherries back in ’06, New Young Pony Club have mutated into a many-headed hydra, nestling their noses into pop’s underbelly. From their remixes of the likes of Amy Winehouse to Lou’s laid-back, Gucci handbag new wave as The New Sins, the fivesome have shown that they are too talented to solely exist in the booming juggernaut that is NYPC. As they reconvene for tonight’s NME Awards Show, it’s clear that these solo outings have only increased their power. The weakest songs from last year’s ‘Fantastic Playroom’ shimmer like bright lights – ‘FAN’ and ‘Grey’ sound reborn, shaken free of their sonic moroseness and turned into something slick and fresh. ‘Jerk Me’ wrestles itself from the ESG-style bass-heavy vibrations to become a mammoth punk singalong, the cover of ‘Pump Up The Jam’ mutates from a novelty idea into something euphoric and floorfilling, while B-side ‘Descend’ is rescued from the vaults to become an unexpected highlight. We can’t wait to see what they come up with next.