The Diamond Lights / The Old Blue Last

Artrocker reviewer Castillo C. Castillo escapes the Spring showers and finds a new favourite band in The Diamond Lights at London's legendary Old Blue Last

Filed in The Diamond Lights, Live Reviews | Date: 12 April 13 at The Old Blue Last

The Diamond LightsThe paintwork maybe peeling away from its beer soaked walls and its bouncers provide as much of a warm welcome as US Border Control, but The Old Blue Last is a venerable old lady and always worth spending some time with on a stormy spring night like tonight.

Barely managing to fit themselves and their instruments on stage, Good Dangers started the night off. Their melodic dream-pop can’t fail but give you a little warm glow deep down inside. They are the Reddy Brek of Indie Pop if you will. There’s a danger that bands such as Good Danger can veer off course into the land of twee noodlings but Good Dangers easily manage to avoid this particular pitfall.

The Diamond Lights clambered onto the stage next. The only song I had previously heard from this East London duo was the excellent Queens of the Stone Age-esque ‘Yes Sir’, but this didn’t prepare me for what I was about to see live. Drummer Glenn Fryatt immediately launched into a tom-laden attack as Chris Hornby’s blistering guitar and vocals reminded me of ‘Fall Heads Roll’ era The Fall. From start to finish, The Diamond Lights were easily as good a band as I have seen and heard for a very long time. Fryatt’s serial killer intensity behind the kit works perfectly with Hornby’s 50s tinged vocal style and jagged guitar stylings. Twenty-five minutes, seven songs and a crowd shouting for more later, this absorbing and pleasurable sonic assault was over. Leave them wanting more would seem to be their motto, and they certainly did…


The Diamond Lights shone some magic on the evenings proceedings (Photo by Robin Pope)

Unlike headliners Horsefight … but don’t get me wrong, the Brisbane rockers were in no way bad. With a guitar amp AND a bass amp for each of the guitarists it was a truly massive sound being hurled through the creaking old speakers; it was just a little on the long side. A capacity crowd were definitely up for a slice of antipodean psychedelic rock and songs like new single ‘Friends Apart’ were played with pure abandon and led to the untimely death of one snare drum midway through the set. I really wanted to like Horsefight and I did, for a time, but my attention started to waiver as their set began to settle into what felt like a slightly self-indulgent rock jam that went on 20 minutes too long. Horsefight are an excellent band with excellent tunes that I thoroughly recommend seeing them, but maybe they should take a leaf out of The Diamond Lights book and leave the crowd wanting more…


The Diamond Lights giving the audience what they wanted and leaving them wanting for more (Photo by Robin Pope)

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