The Boy Majors - Studio 88, Camden - 3.5.07

Studio 88, Camden: to think that here, just the other week, Babyshambles kicked off the Camden Crawl by turning up late to some impatient fans, played five songs, chucked a speaker and a drum into the audience and left just as a fight brewed up. The situation on this night is different; at a low-key gig taking place tonight in a packed basement, the band playing is unsigned and has only been together since late 2006. That’s what makes the gig so highly anticipated, because this band have already recorded a session for XFM and have played to overcrowding venues in their hometown of Manchester. Most of the people swarming the room have followed the Boy Majors all the way from home to Camden and they know why they have made these achievements in such a short space of time, but the few Londoners standing in the room are only just about to find out.

After a quick introduction of their line up, the band break into a perfect warm up song, a thumping punk song just for the sake of getting everyone going. Later on everyone is ordered by the drummer, Tom's, bass drum to clap and create a marching vibe; nothing sounds more powerful than everyone putting in the effort to make this rhythm happen. Then comes the first familiar song to me, ‘Coming Round’, a puppet master song in a sense that you are encouraged to lift your tiptoes and hands as though attached to strings. Later on they play ‘Weird Science’, the first song to strike me, because to me, it has an intense description of a city journey. Both the melody and the lyrics conjure illusions of travelling around London for me, in the beautiful evening: 'The sun goes red setting in the sky, I look left, I look right, I don’t know if I’m paradise'. For their second last song, they play what would really be the perfect end of a show, ‘In The City’. This epic song just builds and builds up to a climax that you do not want, because it should go on and on. The last song however, reminds us that we are at a party. ‘All We Can Be’ could be branded as an average pop song, but that’s unimportant because in the end people want to dance and sing to this non-manufactured goodness. The Boy Majors have outstanding energy to put into their performance: While front man, Jordan, sings with a perfect connection to rhythm guitarist, Will’s, voice, he maintains a relaxed shoulder swaying motion and a tense face, like a soul singer’s; lead guitarist, Anthony, plays licks reminiscent of prog rock except they’re not boring or embarrassing; bassist, Mario, is dominant in presence, popularity and size and brings slap bass back into fashion.

The interview that I had with them in a kebab shop just before the gig showed me that their music came together on quite a simple basis. They told me that they formed through knowing each other from school etc. except for Anthony, who joined late after being dragged into their van and played a song. Like so many kids, they were inspired to play instruments by heroes such as Jimi Hendrix and they have great respect for a few bands who have only just/are yet to sweep the nation, like the Maccabees and You Remind Me of Rasputin. More so, they are self-motivated; they improvise and write down anything interesting that comes up in conversation. Everybody says that it is impossible to be original and anything you write can be traced back to something else from the previous decade. Bands with attitudes like the Boy Majors show that originality is still possible; otherwise we would be pretty bored of music right now, wouldn’t we?

Words: Will Slater
Photo: Richard Kelly

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