Considering their imminent large scale gig at Creamfields,Camden’sBarfly seems an uncomfortably small venue for Cagedbaby to be using asawarm up. And so it proves, but in a way that demonstrates thesuitabilityof their pop music for the bigger stage.
It may be a half hour slot at the start of the night but the quartetmake an immediate impact, tearing people away from the bar to watch.Singer Tom Gandey exudes a relaxed confidence on stage, his raggedblond hair covered by a multicoloured cap, orange shirt glowing in the dark.Onkeyboards Jimmy Day cuts a cool, unruffled figure, and JimCarmichael provides a propulsive drum track over which KanLailey can strut his stuff. Plenty of hair on show, too!
So far so good, and when the band launch into the electro-stomper 16Lovers the walls rattle, the disappointingly half-full dancefloorstartingto shake its booty. The tempo slows with the Norwegian popsensibilities ofHello There, Gandey maintaining eye contact with his audience, and thenit’s the INXS-raiding Golden Triangle, the stop-start rifffromLailey cutting through the disco beats and Day revelling in thesynthesizedtricks he introduces at the end.
Singer Gandey has a surprisingly flexible voice to go with his stagepresence, at times coming close to the husky tones of theBelovedvocalist Jon Marsh, while equally comfortable when required torockout a bit more. Even with just one album to promote the musical varietykeeps the crowd attentive, each track getting a rousing reception and agrateful acknowledgement from the singer, who returns to his keyboardnow and then, the band often facing east as if about to recite a religiouscreed.
With a host of higher profile gigs to come the band perform wellwithinthemselves, but at the same time thrill with their brands of pop music.Gandey’s wish that the band should play almost totally live ishonoured,with only the occasional programmed loop showing up – otherwise theguyskeep it tight as anything, and the bass goes straight through the floorinto the bar downstairs.
With a proper light show to come, and a decent crowd no doubt, thefuture looks very promising indeed for Cagedbaby, who look fullycapable ofrising to the occasion. For now though, this will do nicely.