...the thunder dome of new talents

It’s round this time of year that the music industry abandons the current notion of 2008 and time travels.

As advent calendars threaten to breach our defences and the catastrophe of Christmas compilations force our ears elsewhere its time to metaphorically find your happy place and wonder who’ll rule next year’s musical airwaves.

Well then. Welcome to the thunder dome of new talents. Clash continued our nomadic stroll round Britain’s live music venues with a stop off at Hoxton Bar and Kitchen for a brace of sizzling new talents and very much Ones to Watch for 2009.

My Toys Like Me
With a scruffily svelte lead singer that’d make nuns go weak at their righteous ankles, it’s hardly a surprise this band’s toys like them. Everyone will soon love them, too.

Wonky, acid-tinged and glitched-up electronic soundscapes are populated by their distinct lead singer’s whispered admissions which taste as bitter sweet as an arsenic-laced milkshake.

My Toys Like Me will probably have to endure lazy comparisons to the likes of CSS, yet they clearly have much more depth than the transient Brazilians. With dark inner city influences as broad as Portishead, the Specials, Tricky and Red Snapper, their twisted, oft skanked up and bopping acid jaunts should go far. They aren’t shy to elevate proceedings to full nightclub tilt either – and have the basslines to unwind your behind thus making them a dark and exceptionally seductive mix of dystopian delight and dancefloor destruction.

Lesser Panda
A slightly more considered and esoteric proposition than our opener, Lesser Panda are building well and look to make the leap to mouth-watering electric indie proposition soon. With a crooning singer not far of a well combed Robert Smith, their influences dot from Neu! to Depeche Mode over to Kraftwerk and back through Liquid Liquid and Liars.

If you like laser-sharp fretting over the grooving dance beats of DFA then Lesser Panda need to be in your life. Singer Mariano Robles perhaps has a bit of work to impose himself on audiences but his vocals and lyrical sorties are perfectly in synch, tone and balance with his band members … one of London’s best kept party secrets are about to lose their underground niche as exposure calls. Who said Pandas weren’t sexy? (Um, what?! – bemused online Ed)

Inner City Pirates (pictured)
Presumably this band are all former traffic wardens with such a name. But these swashbuckling sonic fiends presented a much more mixed tableau of sound than the others. Rarely sounding the same from one song to the next they weave across dance hybrids, meandering lo-fi surf pop and shimmering melodic indie exploration.

With their lead song ‘Let’s Go DISCO’ demanding a heraldic and modern Friday night call to arms, it inescapably smacks of Simian’s ‘We Are Your Friends’; however, their jambling and inviting perky pop moments pack potential for the future. Inner City Pirates now look ready to heartily hijack your treasured headphones.

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The next Clash Live strolls into your ears on 18th November at Hoxton Bar and Kitchen with Frightened Rabbit, Dan Black and the hotly tipped Baddies. Click HERE for tickets and further information.


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