The Lock Tavern – May 23rd | Photo by April Collins
PARTYBABY frontman Jamie Reed has his finger in a splint. Is his injury the result of a stage dive gone wrong? A horrible accident involving a dropped amp, perhaps? Nope, he managed to do it whilst struggling to free his foot from his jeans. Rock stars these days, hey?
If there’s any new band to whom a busted digit is going to be met with little more than a nonchalant shrug, however, it’s PARTYBABY. The exuberant Californian upstarts brought their, well, party-punk to the UK for the first time at The Great Escape; now it’s London’s turn to experience this force of nature.
These four are only just getting started and in some ways this is less a show and more a showcase. The equal measures of intrigue and excitement in the room threaten to coalesce into something a touch awkward, but any such worries are dispelled the moment scorching new cut ‘I Don’t Wanna Wait’ sears through the upstairs of the Camden pub. Reed’s injury appears no hindrance at all as he moves and gesticulates like a man possessed, his face as wildly expressive as the music.
Latest release down, it’s immediately time to turn the clock back to the very first thing they ever wrote. Okay, so they’ve only put out three tracks, but ‘Your Old Man’ is proof that PARTYBABY have been living up to their name from day one – and there’s something oddly satisfying about that brief bizarre moment when it sounds curiously similar to ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’.
‘California’ – a number telling the tale of running away from home and starting a band – stands out as the strongest of the unreleased half of a fleeting six-song set. They’ve formed a band; they’ve built the hype; they’re slowly but surely beginning to feel the love. It’s only apt that they should end on ‘Everything’s All Right’ then, isn’t it? With some 150,000 Spotify plays already to its name, it’s at once rambunctious and reflective, and an effective demonstration of the very qualities which will propel PARTYBABY skyward.
Live: The Finsbury – May 27th