Best Kids in Town- The Sketch at The Hob, Staines 3rd May
If you like your indie pop punk to be melodic yet edgy and a bit shouty and sharp (in a good way) like the early Jam then you will love The Sketch with their bright as-a-button tunes, tight harmonic structures and feel good anthems.
Interesting and ironic musical effects abound with an electro-beat feel to many of the numbers. On the night Mikee’s vocals seemed (to me) to be a tad weak and shaky at times, especially when contrasted against the flourishing musical backdrops. But the songs were reliable and catchy enough and seemed so nostalgic that the happily dancing audience was almost transported back to ‘77. Having said that, The Sketch don’t live in the past, and their melodies are box-fresh and vivid enough to recall more contemporary acts like Green Day or Rancid.
Prominent basslines, fluid (and sometimes very busy) sounds along with light fantastic fast-tempo percussion that reminds the listener of a Lambretta being started up on a cold morning… this is new punk with modish style and ambition- no less astringent but far less noisy than the original new wave of sound, this is more pop de luxe in texture and quality.
The band are now big favourites in Staines and so were comfortable and bold enough to try out a new song on their Middlesex fans (played only once live- at the Tapas Room ?) but this went down well with the mixed-up cheerful punters at the Hob. My favourite number, though, was ‘Second Best’ with some challenging nuances and turn-the-corner expectations. This is a tune that grows well and, although it is immediately enjoyable, the formula of the tune and the way the music evolves itself into a reasonably complicated, but no less favourable experience, provides some refreshing results.