Getting to and navigating around the Sebright Arms for Symptomatic’s hotly tipped show consisted of a meander around back streets, down a side alley way, a hipster crowd punter hurdle, to a maze under the pub in the basement, running in to a series of closed doors. The feeling of playing a game of guess what’s behind door number... ensued... but what is mysterious is always welcomed. So, finally a push on narrow unsteady door number three opens up to a packed crowd much clad in black and adorned in glamorous swathes.
The prize at the end of the opening adventure is hotly tipped and much mentioned Charlie Boyer and The Voyeurs, and the sound of a tightly knit band with sounds deeply rooted in mid ‘70s NYC, art punk and fuzzy scuzzy glam. The leader Charlie sounds like glimmered up Tom Verlaine, with his almost falsetto, verging on a whine vocals. When the group play their debut single and outstanding track, ‘I Watch You’, main man Boyer cleverly makes it sound like he wants you. He barely moves from behind the mic stand, and the lead guitarist hides underneath his raven Dee Dee Ramone bowl cut – nothing moving aside from his hands. Meanwhile, bass and drums power through, and creative interludes are made by the keys player who looks like he belongs in Primal Scream circa ‘Sonic Flower Groove’ with long locks and a flowing flowery blouse.
When not just “the industry”, but music lovers are in search of something new, something touching, something raucous and righteous, something that rocks, with guitars, and singing, with verses and chorus, with actual songs that follow that pop song arrangement, and have a visceral edge, The Voyeurs deliver indie glam art punk magic. And with a cleverness and modernity too – their name and debut track title are, in this boundless and boundary-less time, a smart reflection of the modern condition. A gag in this Orwellian Age.
After looking through the maze and around the corner and the corridor, and through those multiple doors, what was revealed was a little gem.
Words by Libby Moné