White Room have been plying their trade in and around Brighton for a while now, and picking up heaps of fans as they do it. One of which is fellow Brighton band Of Empires’ lead singer Jack Fletcher. When I interviewed him a few weeks ago he told me that, “White Room are definitely my favourite Brighton band at the moment. I think they’re going to be massive. They’re already massive in my eyes”. After their biggest ever show at Patterns, it’s fair to say that he’s right: White Room are a fantastic live proposition with an already mightily impressive collection of bangers in their back catalogue, and the showmanship to pull it off in far bigger venues than this.
Opening on the night was local band Method Actress. There’s an endearing reclusive nature to frontman Milo McNulty, as if he’s both loving and hating every minute of being on the stage at the same time. He grows more and more confident with each song, though, and for good reason. Method Actress are a very impressive unit indeed, with their synthesis of nightmarish shoegaze and post-punk placing them somewhere between Slowdive and Joy Division. In fact, there’s certainly something of the crooning darkness of Ian Curtis in McNulty.
Next up were Underwater Boys, who appeared to bring with them a whole host of teenagers unwittingly. Whether or not they were there for Underwater Boys or White Room remained unclear, but they were absolutely loving the set from Brighton brothers, Tom and Nick Klar. If it was accidental or not doesn’t matter, Underwater Boys were so impressive they’ve certainly kept them as fans either way. There’s a sensitivity and openness to the duo that swiftly contrasts their crunching live songs that makes them a dynamic prospect. Best song on the night, ‘Bye & Bye’ is a woozy delight that recalls the supple, sumptuous vocals of Tame Impala.
It’s clear to see already that White Room are relishing playing the bigger venues. With wacky lighting and visuals fizzing across the back wall, they created an atmosphere that made this feel like a truly massive moment: both for the band and for the crowd. Of course, within the first few songs they already made Patterns their own. An early showing of ‘Stole the I.V’, arguably their biggest song, helped this no doubt, with mass sing-alongs breaking out and continuing for the rest of the night.
Something I’ve always admired about White Room is the fact that they’ve always worn their influences brazenly and proudly. Take their EP, Eight, which, with its nasally vocals and off-kilter dream beats, sounded like The Beatles’ Revolver. However, as a live unit they garner far more modern resemblances. ‘Cannibal Song’, is a playful song about (of course) eating people, which sounds like Kasabian at their most barmy. While closing song ‘The Blue’ is just a fantastic foot-stomper that doesn’t sound like anyone at the moment. It’s an incredibly fresh tune that provokes surreal imagery of ‘Castles in the Sky’ and ‘Slumber in the Stars’ those throwbacks to the psychedelic 60s.
White Room are a really exciting band, with a whole host of face-shredding tunes to pick-off. From ‘Cable-Built Dreamland’, to ‘Circles’, White Room create a menagerie of characters and a cacophony of sounds that resembles a captivating, madcap world that is enthralling, gratifying and fascinating. Most importantly, though, they’re a young rock’n’roll band that doesn’t look or sound like Oasis and it’s extremely refreshing to see and hear.