Chicago indie rockers dazzle sold out crowd on London return. Review of show from 30th November 2016.
For those thinking the chaos of The Orwells had fizzled out since their last tour in support of 2014 album Disgraceland, prepare to be corrected as the Chicago five-piece elated a sold out crowd at The Dome, Tufnell Park in London.
Rising punk band The Dead Pretties got the evening started with a heavy, no prisoners approach, riling through their set at such a pace they left the crowd wanting much more. Stand out song Teeth was a Queens of the Stone Age styled riff under rasping Julian Casablancas-esque vocals. The band finished up in style with singer Jacob Slater in full flow amidst attempts to both swallow his mic and hit himself with it throughout the final few songs. With fierce vocals and powerful drum beats, The Dead Pretties are a band to keep on your radar over the next few months.
When The Orwells finally step out, they are given a raucous reception as opening song In My Bed starts. It’s the first sign of many that The Orwells are not going to hold back tonight. Frontman Mario Cuomo dazzles in his role as band leader and star performer prowling along the stage. Standout hit from the upcoming album Body in the Bayou follows, showing the crowd for the first time, a more mature sound but still providing the same childlike fun they’ve had since day one. For a while, it seems unlikely the band could possibly get the crowd even livelier, but this gets proven wrong as they launch into Let It Burn. Buddy, provides another short but sweet burst of liveliness with Cuomo, like a prize animal in a zoo, swaggering around the stage. Attempts to stop stage invaders by security are thwarted by the singer himself who grabs hold of one stage invader and launches him back into the crowd. Lengthy new single Double Feature is the only moment in the set to leave the crowd wanting more, with Cuomo leaving the stage after three minutes to allow for a further four minute instrumental section. However, the five-piece bring it back together for closing song Who Needs You, in which Cuomo, having patrolled all available space on the stage, descends onto the speakers either side of the stage to complete a majestic performance from one of the liveliest lead singers in the world. This was a true triumph, leaving fans purring ahead of the release of their third album and with tour dates scheduled for the start of March, they are certainly a band to see.