London indie-rock quartet The Tricks delivered on their ‘ones to watch’ status at Hoxton B&K. Review by Dan Jenko
It’s 9.30pm on the eve of Halloween, two days after the release of The Tricks’ latest EP ‘In The Doghouse’, and the band are ready to party. Buoyed by an enthusiastic London crowd, brothers Joel and Ash Hodge take the stage with Elliot Crabtree and John Bisset to an eruption of jubilant applause.
The four-piece open with (the seasonally appropriate) ‘The Dead Of Night’, with its thudding, heartbeat-like bassline bouncing off the walls of Hoxton Square’s B&K. From then on the set-list showcases exactly what The Tricks are really about – catchy, melodic pop rock that’s sweet, punchy and universally appealing. The band’s Stokes-like two-guitarist setup is utilised to great effect throughout, with Elliot and John taking turns playing straight power chords and complex riffs in a Two Door Cinema Club manner.
Whilst there’s no great variation in terms of style on offer, the quality of the tunes The Tricks have already produced in their short life-span is admirable. ‘Better’ proves to be front-man Joel’s finest-work lyrically, with its tale of forever needing more in one’s life lasting long in the memory, while ‘Part Time Lover’ slows the tempo of the gig masterfully. The way the whole band kick in vocally on the choruses of ‘Remember Me’ and ’49 Mercury’ draws parallels with Everything Everything’s newer material.
Whilst it remains to be seen whether The Tricks’ energetic, danceable brand of indie rock and roll can sustain itself for a longer period of time, the band’s current live repertoire is a perfect fit for a 45-minute set. What the band lack in variety, they certainly make up for in stage presence – at one stage Joel jubilantly holds women’s underwear tossed at him mid-song. A natural sense of wit and charm helps The Tricks avoid the potential criticism of being just another guitar-pop outfit – the four-piece’s personality always feels genuine.
After a triumphant encore of debut single ‘Just For The Summer’ closing the band’s latest London gig, it’s clear that The Tricks are deserving of their billing as one of the best new live acts in the country. The phrase ‘ones to watch’ gets tossed around like a hot potato in the music press, but my money’s firmly on these guys.