CAAN live at Dingwalls, London (31 May '12) // Words: Saam Das
Arriving at Dingwalls in Camden (which, compared to the bustling recent Camden Crawl, proved a much more pleasant experience!) evoked fond memories of our little Joe Bloggers gig around about a year ago. If we were helping out with the same thing now, we may well have asked CAAN to play. And, on this evidence, it would be a wise decision.
The main support for the evening were Molotov Jukebox, who had a touch of gypsy-punkers Gogol Bordello about them. Considering the sauna-esque atmosphere of the venue, they inspired plenty of the audience to dance away with their "gyp-step" offerings - a slightly dubiously named concoction of genres but effective at communicating Molotov Jukebox's variety.
Considering CAAN is an electro-pop act, the mix of gypsy punk, swing and dubstep seemed like an odd choice but it worked. And for trivia fans, frontwoman Nathalie Tena currently stars in 'Game Of Thrones' - although I remember her best as Nicholas Hoult's schoolboy crush/older pal in 'About A Boy'. She very much has her music hat on here though, even outdone by one of her bandmates, who casually sips a glass of red wine between songs.
With the crowd becoming ever more densely populated by the minute, Caan Capan took to the stage. We've been fans since hearing his debut single but this is the first time we've seen him play. A four piece live, CAAN strangely begins with a new track, a raw electro-industrial tinged offering - not the only new track to be played tonight. Steadily, as the more recognised tracks appear and CAAN's vocals settle, the crowd becomes increasingly enthralled and boisterous.
Arguably the most poignant moment of the gig comes when CAAN dedicated his cover of Japan's 'Ghosts' to "Chaz" - referring to his former Ou Est Le Swimming Pool bandmate, Charlie Haddon. However, for many, the highlight will have been the appearance of one half of Man Like Me during the triumphant final song, 'Now Hear This My Friends'. Indeed, a couple of girls standing in front of me could barely contain themselves at the sight, while a circle pit(!) formed by the stage.
With anthems like the aforementioned 'Now Hear This My Friends', 'Every Little Thing', and 'Into The Night' in his locker, as well as a tremendously supportive (and ever-growing) fanbase, things are looking very promising for CAAN.
CAAN is currently touring the UK, find more info at iamcaan.com.