London Camden Monarch

Amazingly, there's not one beard onstage. But you might expect one...

Amazingly, there’s not one beard onstage. But you might expect one. [a]Elevator Suite[/a] refer to songs as ‘numbers’, singer Robert looks like an escapee from Gong, and he introduces a song with the dreaded words, “This next one will last about 45 minutes.” It doesn’t, but you suspect sometimes when he says it, he’s not joking.

[a]Elevator Suite[/a] are from Devon, they’re part-time DJs and are shortly to star in a TV documentary, but for them, chasing the vibe is paramount. A lot of tonight’s set straddles the thin line between kitsch ’60s lounge music and the perpetual noodlings of acid jazz, and tracks like ‘Weekend Wonderboy’ and ‘I Know That’ extrapolate jazzy riffs into mammoth jams. But there is another side to them.

It’s hinted at in the way ‘Airhead’ mimics the slow fizz of The Charlatans, but is really revealed in their singles. Forthcoming release ‘Man In A Towel’ takes a lysergic Beta Band loop and transforms it into a loose, simian mantra, but the real crowning glory is current single ‘Backaround’ – a bona fide pop classic that merges Reef‘s good-time partying with New Radicals‘ aloof funk cool. Strangely, it’s somehow failed to be a hit.

But [a]Elevator Suite[/a] know it’s brilliant and should, if rereleased, make them stars. “We are slags!” shouts denim-clad, tambourine-shaking vibes master Andy, lost in the moment but tongue placed firmly in cheek, “We are S Club 7!” They’re not, but given a bit of luck, they should soon be sidling up to them in the charts.