There are times in this great city of ours, where the music scene is almost too good. Saturday 24th February was one such night, where home town heroes Fur were playing their biggest ever gig at The Haunt and Hookworms, fresh off their exceptional new album Microshift, played a sold-out show at Patterns. This left me worrying for Public Access T.V.’s capacity at Green Door Store on the same night, but I shouldn’t have worried. Although not sold-out, there was a more than modest crowd that filled up underneath the train station and for good reason. Not only did Public Access T.V. release their terrific second album, Street Safari, the day before, but the New York four-piece certainly know how to put on a show.
Local band Swoon opened up proceedings with their strange mixture of theatrical pop, electronic and heavy rock. It’s an interesting idea but, at times, can come across as a little bit erratic. However, frontwoman Alice Guala is a captivating presence, with a very domineering stage personality. No doubt their best song, ‘Cage’, showcases this perfectly, with Guala fighting through the sonic electronica and thriving basslines, with a deeply powerful vocal.
Whenyoung, arguably one of the most exciting indie-rock bands around at the moment, were main support for the entire tour. With a support slot for indie favourites Peace coming up, as well as a huge show supporting The Vaccines at London’s Alexandra Palace, they were every bit as good as that suggests. The Irish three-piece may well have their feet dipped in the indie genre, but it would certainly be fairer to call them a pop band with the amount of glorious pop hooks they’ve got. Latest single ‘Pretty Pure’ starts off like a softer Libertines and slowly moulds itself into a sweet confection of pop goodness, with a beautiful vocal from frontwoman Aoife Power.
When Public Access T.V. arrived on stage, it was clear everyone was up for a fun kick-start to their Saturday night. With lots of dancing and bursts of moshing thrown in for good measure, the New York band seemed to lap it all up as they threw out their hits, which is one of the most impressive things about the band. For a band who have only just dropped a second album, they have an exciting array of great live numbers already. From ‘Patti Peru’, with its fetching and infectious: “P-p-p-party don’t stop” outro, to ‘In Love and Alone’ with its addictive rhythm section, they’re an extremely fun live prospect and, ultimately, a guaranteed good time.
An admirable trait around the band, too, is that they wear their influences on their sleeves. Street Safari lead single, ‘Metrotech’, is a straight-up Talking Heads-inspired 80s funk banger. Additionally, their best song, ‘In the Mirror’, is a driving indie-pop number with an exceptionally catchy chorus like fellow New York band The Strokes. While Street Safari album cut ‘Rough Boy’ is a punky burst of rock’n’roll adolescence that is heavily indebted to the Ramones.
Public Access T.V. don’t have much time for many bands, and state that a lot of rock’n’roll bands are too safe and boring at the moment. On ‘End of an Era’, from their debut album Never Enough, they sing: “They say the kids don’t like rock’n’roll” about the current state of rock’n’roll music. Well, with the ferocity and vigour it’s sung back to them at the Green Door Store, it appears rock’n’roll music, and indeed live music, is still alive and kicking and it’s in the hands of Public Access T.V. and Whenyoung.