I was pretty close to going to medical school in Tooting back in the day. I'm glad that didn't quite work out for many reasons, one of which being the fact that the area isn't particularly inspiring. It's certainly not a complete disaster though and the Tooting Tram & Social is one of London's best pubs/venues. It played host to the fine duo of THUMPERS and LULS for XFM DJ John Kennedy's most recent clubnight.
After battling a severe cold all day, I managed to drag myself down to Tooting for a brief but fulfilling jaunt. Pint of Blue Moon in hand, THUMPERS were up first. I've been really impressed with what I've heard from them so far - a kind of swirling, wide-eyed triumphant pop sound.
At the Tram & Social, the duo were joined by three other members to replicate the sound in the live environment. It wasn't entirely successful, with the rather murky sound masking the underlying brilliance of the songs. Nonetheless, the added members bolstered the enjoyment factor - one particularly exuberant backing vocalist genuinely seemed like she was having a great time, an infectious attitude.
As expected 'Sound Of Screams' and recent debut single 'Dancing's Done' sparkled but the more experimental, Balearic-infused nature of some other THUMPERS tracks came as something of a surprise. Looking forward to hearing how they sound on record.
Considering the night was running a bit late, I thought about ducking out after THUMPERS but having caught LULS live recently, I decided to stick around. Equally as powerful as their appearance at the Barfly a few weeks ago, the trio are building a formidable live reputation - the venue seemed to swell as soon as they came onstage.
The band specialise in huge-sounding guitar anthems, stepped in a dark melodrama that comes through remarkably well when played live. Much of that was due to bassist Adam Prendergast who almost gleefully prowled around the stage, clearly relishing every moment. Each of the band members' exuded their own presence however, and it all came together magnificently on the likes of 'Swing Low' and new single 'Never Let It Go'.
Two hugely exciting bands for 2013. Shame my follow-up pint of London Fields didn't quite match the excitement.
Find more info on THUMPERS at thumpers.co and more info on LULS at facebook.com/lulsofficial.