London Kings Cross Water Rats

No style, all contentment.

It doesn’t take long in the charming company of [a]Brothers In Sound[/a] to work out what’s screening in their curious collective mind. Never mind the reality is a pub backroom, paper streamers and some artful projections of dry cleaners – in their heads, their design is so grand it makes pyramids weep.

Like labelmates/kindred-spirits The Beta Band, however, the three young men with the alarming variety pack haircuts – Hoxton schoolboy, [a]Hanson[/a] bob, Hawkwind spaniel – are well-trained in those old-fashioned virtues of making-do and mending. They can’t have the indecent budget and widescreen prog production values, so they patch together their own little showreel from wax and string, all the more beguiling for its wobbly execution.

Wearing morning dress, waving cigars, champagne and confetti, and playing out their wedding reception fantasies behind a gauze screen that dazzles all and sundry with world-in-chaos projections, they’re certainly striving for the sense of happening, creating an atmosphere that feels alluringly out of time.

As befits boys who would look more at home sprawled on a beanbag with a box of cornflakes, they occasionally tip into hippy meander, or the inexcusable Gomez harmonica nonsense of ‘Easy Life’, yet while they produce the clockwork Death In Vegas tick of ‘Hey You’, the curved Air of ‘Journey Song’ or the uncanny soul-shimmer of ‘Shady Mia’, even that sticks on the endearing side of wrong.

Such hand-reared beats and organic grooves should belong to the kind of shabby-chic eclecticism that’s the joy of the mullet-wearing, style-mag reading massive. This, though, is more like the end-of-term disco at a progressive school where kids make up their own rules, smoke dope in the dorms and have group psychotherapy instead of Maths. No style, all contentment.