King Charles, Tokyo Huddersfield, 24/02/2012

by - Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tokyo Corner
Marching onstage and cockily pronouncing that ‘It's been a long wait but it'll be worth it’, Tokyo Corner’s Luke Micklethwaite is certainly not lacking in rock and roll attitude. The musical lovechild of Ian Brown and Kelly Jones, with a shade of One Night Only frontman George Craig for the ladies, he fronts a fuzzy indie five piece with a raucous aggression. They hit their stride with presumably self-titled ‘Corner’, an indie linchpin with a dirty riff that gives them their most likely hit.

We Were Evergreen

Even from the way they arrange their instruments on stage, I know that Parisian We Were Evergreen were going to be rather exciting. Deliciously twee and calming, they are the perfect anthesis to the testosterone heaviness of the other bands on tonights support bill. Despite only being a three piece, they produce a pleasingly full live sound, and within mere seconds of the wonky Super Mario-esque ‘Baby Blue’, I desperately wanted to be part of their super-cool and devastatingly attractive gang. Even better, just when you think you've got them pegged, they morph into some sort of bastardised Ukelele house that would make their home country proud. This is where they truly sparkle, mixing this dance element with their dewy-eyed folk pop to create something that painted a smile on my usually cynical face. The clear band of the night.

Audit Control start well ,lulling the crowd into a false sense of security with a slow burning start, before kicki

ng into a barnstorming four on the floor breakdown that gets the crowd properly moving forthe first time all night. They're evidently home town heroes - each of their songs is greeted with a joyous holler as crowds of drunken friends embrace in the front few rows, singing the lyrics to one another. Maybe inebriation helps, but these people areseriously feeling this music, causing me to feel oddly left out. To the less well initiated each of their British Sea Power-cum-Courteeeners ditties blur into one turgid set that isn’t massively offensive, but contains little to no dynamic. All the right ideas are in place, but for some reason tonight, Audit Control fail to set Tokyo alight.

King Charles

Prior to tonight’s gig, I knew little about King Charles asides from his appearance on many ‘Big for 2012’ lists. Boasting a hairstyle not unlike my own when I’ve woken up from a heavy night out, he’s an instantly likeable fellow, resplendent in Elizabethan jacket with twirly moustache, aiming a demure smile at the audience like a real royal on a coronation day out. ‘Bam Bam’ is an early highlight, it’s camp beat inciting involuntary shoulder shimmying from almost everyone in the room. The calypso one-man-vampire-weekend of ‘LoveBlood’ also goes down a treat, the musical equivalent of a day trip round Disneyland Paris, complete with animal shaped balloon and jolly-holly sing-alongs.
However, it’s when King Charles drops all the bravado that he truly soars. During ‘Beating Hearts’ his eyes close and he seems genuinely lost within the song. The simple yet honest refrain of ‘love despite your mood/take me as I am/ let me love you’ seems more genuine and raw than anything else he has sang about this evening, and is a concept he should cling onto if he is looking for anything more than flash in the pan success. It is obvious he is a talented songwriter, but he would do well to abandon the glam theatricality and shoot for a more sober aesthetic, letting his songs speak for themselves. Until then, tonight’s performance hints at promising things.

Photographs by Kevin Lawson (

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