The Amersham Arms has been back on form of late.
Its friendly, traditional, London-geezer-mixing-with-students feel was perfect for tonight’s action, a gig by hotly tipped and burgeoningly popular These New Puritans, whom happily skate along the lines of the underground with a rich and diverse sound.
By the time Jack led his cohorts onto the half size stage, the pub looked set to burst at the seams, with an average waiting time of about 40 minutes for a drink.
Clawing our way to the front, the band opened with a prolonged intro that totally absorbed our attention inside its shoe gaze heaven. Three people, chanting, humming and beating their way into a hypnotic rhythm, played the same drums while a guitar, adorned in gaffa tape, was drained of its life.
Straight faced, focused and alpha-complex ridden, Jack leads his troops into Numbers and 4, which are slightly let down by a shite PA system and dodgy wiring. Despite the flaws in sound, TNP coped well, creating an amazing, Sonic Youth meets The Fall style set up; almost like a division of labour, each musician firmly knew where there boundaries were, fixated by their own part to play in this cryptic, edgy set up. As the band grew more comfortable with their surroundings and equipment, the sound sharpened up, the pace fired up and even the girl playing synths managed to crack a little smile to herself. A great, intimate gig from a band who ‘re destined to blow up; hopefully these gigs won’t become a faint memory for them.