THUS LOVE live in London: an energetic and thrilling demonstration of the hype

Windmill Brixton, March 4: The Vermont trio more than justify the increasing buzz surrounding them with a "fucking bananas" show that even draws in punters from over 200 miles away

It’s past 11pm when THUS LOVE make their way onto Windmill Brixton’s tiny stage. To get there, they have to make their way through the packed — and noticeably diverse — crowd who are bristling with expectation. For a split second the Vermont trio pause to take it all in, then accelerate at lightspeed into a deafening blast of palate-cleansing feedback which eventually mutates into the widescreen opening riff of ‘Repetitioner’.

From this point on, the room never loses that unmistakable buzz that comes with seeing a band quite clearly on the up. Off the back of their acclaimed debut LP ‘Memorial’ and a run of high-profile dates supporting Dry Cleaning, THUS LOVE are further buoyed by the considerable hype that’s currently surrounding them. One punter even tells NME before the show that he’s travelled down from Yorkshire just to see what all the fuss is about.

As ‘Repetitioner’ leads deftly into the powerful chug of ‘Anathema’, it’s clear that the band are expending all of their energy to make good on that promise. Their sound is bigger and beefier live than on record: the bass and drums thunderously combine, while Echo Mars’ guitar-playing is, at times, overwhelming, even as she leaps atop the venue’s speakers to deliver a series of frantic riffs. As a vocalist she’s completely at ease, leaning back into a louche cool as she sings in a low, loud and direct register.

Thrillingly tight players, the three members of THUS LOVE keep the energy at a constant simmer until, about halfway through, it boils over entirely. “You have full permission to go fucking bananas,” Mars says at this point, and the crowd duly obliges. She then leaps into the ensuing mosh pit, guitar-first, as they launch into the machine gun riffs of ‘Put On Dog’.


THUS LOVE (Picture: Phoebe Fox)

It’s hard to argue that THUS LOVE aren’t reinventing the wheel, but their live set at least delivers an injection of arena rock bombast: the lineage of post-punk, new wave and indie rock from which their current material draws is clear. Yet it’s hard to care all that much about originality when their show is this much fun: Mars clambering atop Lu Racine’s drum kit and leaning back-to-back with bassist Nathaniel van Osdol might be tried-and-tested rock‘n’roll moves, but none of it feels forced tonight.

“It’s a fucking honour to be here,” Mars notes at one point. “This shit never gets old. Only we do.”

THUS LOVE played:

‘Family Man’
‘Put On Dog’
‘Pith and Point’


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