Live Music + Gig Reviews

New Young Pony Club + Foals @ Plug, Sheffield

2 December 2007

It’s an explosive sparking synth start to proceedings by Foals, second on a bill headed by New Young Pony Club, Liars and Hot Chip DJs – grouped close together as they sway from side to side, giving the air a real beating with their instruments during fire crackers such as Balloons.

Hummers is carried by riveting percussion as they undertake marathon jamming rants expressed with the body language of grumpy teenagers, but the Oxford Uni dropouts produce a first grade sound like an indie-techno machine spitting out ska, reggae beats and percussion off-beat hucks all at once.

It’s an impressive line-up tonight at the Eat Your Own Ears Warehouse Party at the Plug in Sheffield, but despite this the crowd are slow to drag themselves in from the wet and cold South Yorkshire night. The atmosphere, the setting and the vibes just don’t match the occasion.

A tired, hung over New Young Pony Club need all the help they can get tonight, but the crowd seem slow to react despite the best efforts of the energetic disco queen Tahita as she bounds around stage. It’s becoming a common sight, with the elegant Lou Hayter standing on one side motionless but pretty by her keyboard, whilst on the other is Andy with his striking red jeans.

As ever the band produce a sweat drenching, leg aching, glow stick-waving performance with songs as saucy number Ice Cream and Grey, which is dripping with attitude and sex appeal. But for once, not one glow stick can be seen gliding through the air as the dull crowd simply nod their heads with disinterest, as though the so called nu-rave scene is disappearing as quickly as it first appeared.

NYPC are desperately living off adrenalin from a successful year of touring, as they frantically strike the match box over and over with their colourful, sizzling, raucous sound, but it just fails to ignite with the audience tonight. The kids that get dropped off by parents, dress in florescent t-shirts, purple jeans and pink socks and get excited by their new flamboyant identity must have been left at the Woolworths pick n’ mix. Their ecstatic sugar rushed behaviour is desperately needed to spark some life into the night.

“Does anyone have to be up for 7 o’clock tomorrow morning?” Tahita cries as NYPC roll into Tight Fit. It seems that at last, the crowd are waking up to the party animals that are sobering up before them, as the band gather momentum jumping up and down getting into their stride. They even test covers on the on-looking observers, “We’re going to sell out to the gods of rave”, shouts Tahita as she rips into Pump Up The Jam by Technotronic.

This is more like it, but it is too little, too late. As NYPC close with The Bomb tonight, they can’t be faulted. The band have been on the rampage all over the world for the past year generating a party atmosphere wherever they go, but they will soon forget tonight. Whilst the band send out an open invitation to their fantastic playroom once again, the foot-tapping, beer swigging crowd just don’t want to accept. As for Foals, they are certainly ones to watch.

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New Young Pony Club + Foals @ Plug, Sheffield
Interview: New Young Pony Club
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