A young band of working-class kids from Castle Donington, England take the dance-rock world by storm.
You always remember your first time. In a few hours, English band-of-the-moment Late of the Pier, a four-piece composed of lanky twentysomethings who’ve set dance floors and concert halls ablaze across the UK courtesy of their energetic sonic pastiche, will make their US debut at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn. The band’s members— Sam “Jack Paradise” Potter, Samuel “Samuel Dust” Eastgate, Andrew “Francis Dudley Dance” Faley, and Ross “Red Dog Consuela” Dawson—are sitting in their dressing room, casually nursing bottles of Budweiser.
They’ve already played over 200 shows and graced the cover of NME, but they’re excited and confident about tonight’s gig. And well they should be. The band’s first album, Black Fantasy Channel (which was finally released in the US in January), is one of 2008’s most compelling releases, namely because it answers many of the questions the nu rave revival asked and failed to answer.
Aside from Potter’s childhood vacation to Florida, America is an unknown entity to these whippersnappers. They have a lot of questions about the US, and they ask Big Shot to explain things like the difference between red and blue states. Paging Keith Olbermann!
UK buzz band makes good on their EP’s promise with this full-length debut.
Starting off with fuzzy, electro-surf guitars, gamer-inspired synth and drum fills that hit with the surprisingly controlled chaos of what is “Hot Tent Blues,” Late of the Pier’s Fantasy Black Channel kicks off with just a hint of the glam rock that is splattered throughout the rest of their first album. Samuel Dust’s masculine digi-pop voice spouts in a way that resembles Flight of the Conchords’ Jemaine Clement and The Rakes’ Alan Donohoe. Dust’s eclectic inflections somehow mesh impeccably with the numb, murmured buzz of a post-uppers comedown that you can’t seem to shake. The band was able to make me feel like I was riding the Haunted Mansion while having a wonderfully terrifying mushroom trip. But it’s not all so dizzying; the occasional sweet lullaby tones and playful bleeps lets you know that this too will pass. Jennifer Caddick
File under: Klaxons, Friendly Fires, Bolt Action Five
You’d think that with a lineup which included live performances from Soulwax, Late of the Pier, The Whip and DJ sets from Rob da Bank, Pete Tong (above), Luciano, James Lavelle and 2ManyDJs New York area dance music fans would’ve been all over this event. But we are not living in normal times. The $55 cover turned a lot of people off, and a last-minute $35 “hipster bailout” offer didn’t exactly increase ticket sales (prompting the event’s promoters to later open the doors to CMJ badge holders). Still, the night was filled with good music, even if the joint wasn’t completely packed.
After a screening of Soulwax’s Part of the Weekend Never Dies and an opening DJ set from Rob Da Bank, Manchester’s The Whip raced through an energetic set of pumping dance-rock. Though singer/guitarist Bruce Carter had lost his voice, he somehow managed to sing his heart out.
Next came tech-house deity Luciano. Pete Tong had introduced Luciano as making his NYC debut, but that wasn’t true. After waiting for the stage crew to set up his mixer, he finally got to spin roughly 40 minutes of quality tunes before the sound crapped out. He played a few interesting tracks, but his brand of music seemed completely out of place.
In their second US show, Late of the Pier proved what they’ve learned over the course of playing 200 live shows in Europe and elsewhere. The twentysoomething foursome kick out the electro jams that are woven together by nifty lyrics and infectious melodies.
The night might not have lived up to some people’s expectations, but Pete Tong’s utterance that Insiders was a “mini festival” wasn’t completely off base given the roster of talent.
Words and images: Darren Ressler
Hailing from Castle Donington, England, Late of the Pier stormed onto the UK scene with their powerful, genre-bending debut, Fantasy Black Channel. All barely 21 and with 200 live dates under their belts, their debut won’t be released in the States until January. Big Shot caught up with LOTP backstage a few hours before making their US debut at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Look for a feature in Issue 25.