The Neighbourhood // 24 Jan // Koko, London
Die hard fans were at Koko, Camden on Thursday night to see front man of elegant gloom-rock band, Interpol, Paul Banks, while we came to see supporting five-man act The Neighbourhood! Originally from Thousand Oaks in California, it was a rare treat to see them in the UK.
Jesse Rutherford headed the vocals in his trademark hoodie, while Jeremy Freedman and Zach Abels controlled the guitars. Mikey Margott took care of the bass and Bryan Sammis made sure everyone was in check on the drums. The heavily tattooed Rutherford took centre stage, which comes as no surprise. As an audience, we only seem to ever hear him talk about his interests, be it about his love of hip hop beats or his strangely obsessive desire for any photos to be taken with member only sporting black and white clothing. He claims, "it's more about identity than aesthetics". We hope that the talents of the other five band members are not forgotten or go unappreciated.
I don't know why, but as much as I enjoyed the music (I really did), I couldn't shake their 'boy band' image. The stage did not command the eerie, darkened vibe the guys clearly wanted to create. Efforts were there, but perhaps the all too try hard attitude to make a ghostly tone made everything all too transparent. We're in the UK now boys. Not America.
Credit to them though, their songs are bloody brilliant, and we have a lot of love for them. Undeniably 'Sweater Weather' knocked our socks off live.
As cool as their sound is, and as commercially viable as they may be, there is a lack of substance. There is no doubt they are currently moving in the right direction, however they might be one of those quieter bands that crop every now and again, as opposed to one that dominates.
The debut album is expected in March 2013.