Somewhat unsurprisingly, then, their four-band showcase displays a seethingly eclectic array of down-at-heel, nay down-at-hell provincial talent...

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London Highbury Upstairs At The Garage

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London Highbury Upstairs At The Garage

Fact: tonight’s parent label is called Vibrations From The Edge Of Sanity Records and lives in – God help us – Peterborough. Somewhat unsurprisingly, then, their four-band showcase displays a seethingly eclectic array of down-at-heel, nay down-at-hell provincial talent, none of whom are more rabid than the thumpingly bold Plastic Hip, who shout a lot, bang into each other and generally act like the evening’s thoroughly awkward bastard elder statesmen.

First labelmates Gravel appear to be half the age of Plastic Hip, and doggone certainly sound like it: peachy of skin, frazzled of guitar and smartly dressed like American hardcore kids, they therefore make like Symposium hotwiring a big yellow taxi, kidnapping Flat Eric (a muppet in every sense of the word) and speeding off, if not quite into the sunset, then at least in the vague direction of Stevenage.

Veering into yet more territories, second labelmates are boy/girl foursome Kaito who are comprised of two-parts Chelsea girl chic and several bits of cute pop fury. This is the Norwich Kaito, not to be confused with any other Catos from the indie wilderness, but if there is another Cato/Kaito out there with a remotely similar line in saccharine-soaked gossamer vocals and sulky guitars we’ll eat their DAT.

Which leaves only cheeky-looking boy quartet Hofman, who are passionate and witty and brave and have a bassist (Richard) with a beard and rather long hair, but that’s alright because when it comes to making a noise they yelp like wounded puppies, which is A Good Thing. In many ways, they are digging the same scene as Idlewild, all Machiavellian sonic instinct and feverishly urgent delivery, but despite being brash Hofman never thrash themselves into a blind corner.

Much like the label itself, then. Good vibrations this way come…