Here's you're final gig post on the U.K. bands passing through NYC onto SXSW. Yes, New York, where we don't use our homeless people as wi-fi hot spots.
I went into 2:54 totally blind, or more like deaf. I only knew that they were a sister duo and that they are on the Fat Possum label. I usually take a quick primer before I go into gigs, but this one, I just want to come with a clean slate. My ... my ... my ... this ladies lay down the darkness, in a good way. The Thurlow sisters (singer Colette and guitarist Hannah) grinds out some deep and sinister grooves with slight bit of seduction. Think Warpaint with a little bit of that Siouxsie Sioux snarl. One of their singles you can find on their Scarlet EP is called "You're Early" -- a sneaky, slow burner of a song. "Got a Hold" is more in the Jesus & Mary chain, shoegazer motif with the echoing vocals and heavy guitars. In all, I'm digging the grittiness of the songs. It makes you think of a desolate highway in the desert.
As a live act, they create those wonderful elements to full effect. It was actually kind of funny seeing Colette lay down those evoking vocals, then between songs, she's this sweet and shy person. She would smile and politely say "Thank you", as if she was greeting important people who judging her every move. It's all good C, you're cool with us.
For those on the West Coast, you can catch them and Big Deal on the 20th at the Echo in L.A. and the 22th at the Rickshaw Shop in San Francisco.
As a side note, the name 2:54 comes from their favorite moment in the Melvin's song "A History of Bad Men", which comes at two minutes and fifty-four seconds.
Big Deal were the reason I was there. The duo performed their first U.S. shows this week (it was a return trip for 2:54). They caught my attention last year when I previewed all the acts playing the 2011 Camden Crawl. American Kacey Underwood and the Britian Alice Costelloe are a lovely duo who sing songs that makes you want to jump on your bike and ride off on an adventure. It's a stripped down sound with just their vocals and guitars. They convey heartbreak, wonder and confusion about the world about them. The reason I'm attached to them because they remind me of a edgier version of Kings of Convenience. Like them, they have a basic, real world quality that transport you to some other place. It's good escapism. The big difference is those, at time, harsh guitars that gives their music darker feel.
LIke 2:54, they were a bit shy between songs. Kacey would try elevate the quiet, attentive atmosphere by saying that their from London, when clearly he has an American accent. They two have great chemistry when they perform. In case you're wondering, no, they are not a couple. Maybe they do some sort of Vulcan mind meld where they use the same brain to perform.
Their debut album, Lights Out, is out now on Mute Records.