Live Reviews Music

Live Review: Larkins – Clwb Ifor Bach (20/11/19)

Photo: Maja Metera

By Maja Metera

When you enter the Clwb Ifor Bach, forget about the reality of the XXI century. You get magically transported to an alternate reality as the dimmed lights and big reddish carpet in the place of the stage create the atmosphere of Nirvana’s music video. It was my pleasure to experience a bit of this magic when I visited this place on occasion of Larkins’ concert in Cardiff on 20.11.2019.

As I got to the club, the supporting act – Memory Camp, was all set up and ready to play for the following hour. This Welsh band would not refrain from expressing gratitude for this opportunity. They were nicely interacting with the audience. For those who have never heard of Memory Camp – there is most certainly a
bit of Arctic Monkeys tone in their original music. They played a few covers as well, but what the audience seemed to like the most was the female drummer – Hanna – and her contagious positive energy. They were a perfect introduction to the main event.

Larkins is a four-piece for whom 2018 was a breakthrough. It is their first UK and Europe tour. As it is the very beginning of their music career, they are doing their best to set a good basis for themselves. They had even incorporated breaks in-between the songs to talk about their eco-friendly merchandise, politics and to announce that they are going to hang out with the fans after the performance. Although all of this looks great on paper, it is easy to notice who was their inspiration. It is sad to say but their main vocalist – Josh Noble – looks, acts and even sounds a bit too much like Matthew Healy from The 1975. He is getting close to being called a “ripoff” by some.

Nonetheless, as soon as the Larkins got on this 1990s-garage stage – all of the around 80 people who were gathered in the room went absolutely mad. What one can see with the naked eye is that their fanbase is strangely inconsistent – it is a mix of fainting teenagers, middle-aged couples and people who fall into the label of “misfits”. It does not stop them from enjoying themselves on stage – on the contrary. This Manchester band is trying really hard to be heart-throbs for this exquisite crowd – bass player, Henry Beach, without his shirt on, Josh with charming smile and crazy, long hair made the female part of the audience scream in almost sexual excitement.

They needed some time to relax what was the most visible in the manner of the guitarist – Dom Want – who looked incredibly stressed for the first 10 to 15 minutes. However, they do sound better live than on the record and have better technique than some popular musicians who stopped caring at some point. I honestly hope they are not going to lose this level of involvement in their craft. Besides the fact they should work on the originality and introduce more variety to their sound – I enjoyed their concert – the connection with the audience and the smooth transitions between romantic and energetic moods.

Photo: Maja Metera