Demanding attention
Various Cruelties - Live At The 100 Club, London

“We’re very happy to have our first sold out show tonight,” says a flattered Liam O'Donnell, needing time to settle before dispatching ‘Neon Truth’ in an uncoordinated introduction. It’s easy to see that Various Cruelties are lacking professional standards tonight. The indie quartet is disrupted by equipment failure from the off, but their upbeat and jangly opening continues into second song ‘Great Unknown’, its beat driven and emotive chorus demanding our attention.

Various Cruelties are pleasingly in conflict with English guitar bands. When they slow it down on soulful ballad ‘She Is The One’ - O'Donnell pretend romancing with bassist Beanie Bhebhe - the bare and plain song is equivalent to a fork in the road. Their choices can take them down a trodden track (Arctic Monkeys) or surfaced track (Amy Winehouse), but if these decisions acquire songs like ‘Chemicals’ – a poetic song about trying to find something or someone to live for - they may be able to fill more than The 100 Club.

“London, we’ll see you again in April,” reads one of O’Donnell’s tweets. Let’s hope Various Cruelties are prepared for their biggest UK tour to date.

Words by Jake Young

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