Call me old-fashioned, but in the winkle-picking days of my youth – I usually finished the look with a 2-inch wide scarf from Topman draped flaccidly round my neck – Club NME at Koko played tracks that were listed in the NME. The Strokes, probably The Automatic, Forward, Russia! (my keyboard doesn’t have the inverted exclamation mark), The Rakes, and loads more of that ilk – I was drip fed 2007 in real-time-motion at the most alternative place I’d ever found.
Fast forward to a time when Pennie from The Automatic isn’t just not a household name but barely a Veteran Day subject of choice, and I’M ON THE EDGE OF GLORY! and stuff. Ladz glug beer at Club NME like there’s a shortage. I mean I guess that’s fine – but still, I’m still not sure why Club NME now insists on playing “bangers”. Whatever, there were bangers of a different variety earlier on.
The headlining slot was made light work of by Satellite Stories, but Culture Or Trash’s interest was filed under The Guardian-podcasted Young Romance, whose Satellite Stories support slot virginity this was not. A couple of months ago, both played together at The Old Blue Last – a tiny venue for the Finnish headliners, but a mid-sized accomplishment for the London support. In no time, the London duo that is Young Romance have – to proffer a recent trend – “become a thing”. It was 2012’s immensely pretty ‘Follow On Your Own’ that set their claim to Indie alight; and now two years on their current single ‘Pale’ is a thrashy number, populated with fantastically commanding lyrical splurges of consciousness. On stage behind her drum set, drummer and vocalist Claire Heywood calmly sings enunciated rhyming couplets into the abyss, and at lightning pace – not just in ‘Pale’ but across the board, as she and other young romancer Paolo soar between tracks.
The quickness (of pretty well everything from lyric delivery to track changes) is a measured kind of madness that draws you in instantly. Adding to the pace is their well-oiled drum ‘n’ guitar formula that is ferociously noisily for the set up – but there’s more to Young Romance than guitar thrash and Mrs Todd-like enunciation. What is so alluring is the physical comparison: Paolo and Claire would together keep a rubber dingy afloat, yet they also fill Koko no problem. And at two minutes long, ‘Pale’ works nicely to proffer Young Romance’s no fucking about approach: they hammer out track after track with swag-led assurance; and what’s more, their confidence is perfectly in sync with this new larger stage and audience.
You know what they say about the best things – loud packages.
Check out Young Romance's video for 'Pale' below and let us know what you think on Twitter