Sunday, January 10, 2016

Live Review :: Affairs :: The Garage, London - Jan 9 2016

Live Review 


The Garage, London 

January 9 2016

Words: Linn Branson

It was a year ago almost to the day that Little Indie first marked the Manchester-by-way-of-Hull band Affairs down as one to keep on the radar. With their fast-paced tight sound, fierce guitar work and the powerful voice of frontman Jim Robinson, marking them out as a band with much promise.

Tonight at The Garage despite being neither the headliners or from London, they not only succeed in gathering a healthy number of fans in, but win over the always notorious hard to please capital crowd, who by the end are giving them the kind of response many top-of-the-bill acts would be glad to receive.

'Blood Science' - the track which first brought them to attention - is not part of the seven-song set, not that it dents it at all. New single 'Play' still feels too short at two-and-a-half minutes, but with its melancholic synth-pop lines are helmed by Robinson's vocal and drummer Michael Bradnam's infectious beats at the back, it sits nicely between opener 'Runaway' and an early Affairs song, 'Heavy Flight' which demonstrates tight jangly guitar work interwoven with dual vocals and a nice end build up.

'Play' also provides the first opportunity of the night to get the full effect of Mr. Robinson's Mick Jagger-esque hip swivels. Amidst the musical bons points of contrasting harmonies and catchy hooks, the lithe limb movements of the tight jeaned frontman will no doubt have kept some of the young ladies in the front rows happy. They like others were certainly pleased when he announces that up next was "an old one", and as 'Cressida's opening notes fill the room, so too do cheers and whistles; and when towards the end he breaks off to call out "let's see hands", up several dozen pairs come.

Following the live debut of potential next single in waiting, 'Power', 'Brothers', to close, is as crisp and sweet live as on record, with sweet chiming guitar riffs and Robinson nailing the vocal element, dipping occasionally into a higher octave, but mainly kept in a glorious lower register of richness. The feelgood, buoyant end may be the end for Affairs tonight, but you sense it won't be long before they return as worthy headliners.

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