The pressure is clearly on for this London five-piece at the moment and they seem slightly unaware of the protocols for beginning a gig. Do you hover on stage setting up your equipment? Do you hold back and make a grand entrance? In the end, Charlie Boyer and the Voyeurs amble on stage looking a little unsure. They are not the perfect shop mannequins the press would have us believe, yet there's a large bank of photographers gathered at the front that may beg to differ. Make no mistake though, this band look great and have tune after tune to go with it.
By the second song ‘Be Nice’ it's clear they can do no wrong, the lyrics are already being sung back at them and it just gets better. As the songs are so familiar to their loyal throng, it seems to be big news when they announce a new song, and proceed to play ‘That’s My Wish’, another stomper with a touch of glam about it.
It soon becomes apparent that the driving force is coming from the back courtesy of drummer Samir Eskanda, the sound he gets is what sets Charlie Boyer and the Voyeurs apart from other guitar bands around at the moment. What appear at first to be three minute ditties soon throw out small patches of sheer aural assault; the band has lured you in and it is a wonder. There's no filler, and new single ‘Things We Be’ seems to get a hero's welcome even though it isn’t released until next week.
The group are at a pivotal point in their career and it's a thrilling thing to witness. It's at shows like this you see the transition happening before you. This is the latest in a run of headline shows in support of new album ‘Clarietta’, and it's clear they are moving up a level. It's also a sign of their current standing that when frontman Charlie Boyer breaks a string has to make a plea to the audience in order to get hold of a replacement guitar. No roadie waiting at the side of the stage ready to hand him a spare.
They end with the song that caused all the fuss in the first place, debut single ‘I Watch You’. It was produced by Edwyn Collins and live is where the music takes off. Once again Eskanda leads Charlie Boyer and the Voyeurs off into a wall of feedback and swirling organ. Loud though this is, it almost struggles to drown out the cheers bouncing back at them from the crowd.
Their stage exit has much more intent than their entrance. They down tools abruptly, knowing that they have done what they came here to achieve, and leave the stage in solidarity, as a group.
Words by James Young