Moth Club – January 29th
Ellis Jones and his Trust Fund troop were a busy bunch in 2015. Not one, but two lovingly received albums fleshed out some more by a generous run of shows, Trust Fund found themselves in a thoroughly giving mood. Keen to kick off the new year in similar fashion, tonight’s Hackney outing feels like a consolidation of all the positives 2015 offered, taken up a level or two with a distinctly celebratory theme threaded through every aspect of the night’s festivities.
This isn’t your standard gig format though – not by any stretch. Every effort has gone in to making tonight’s show live long in memory. Support bands, headline act – sure, they’re part of what’s on offer, but with comedy, karaoke, a revolving cast of singers and a vegetarian meat raffle part of the fun, the biggest question to come from the evening is, why can’t more gigs be this much fun?
Dirty Girl are the night’s recurring stars, returning to the stage to provide vocals for both Personal Best and Trust Fund, but it’s their own ferocious and loaded anthems that kicks things off. It clears any cobwebs for Spook School’s Adam Todd, whose offbeat production ‘Disappointment’ combines comedy, music, hedgehog love stories and Philip Schofield in a half hour that goes from charmingly awkward to self-deprecating hilarity once everyone made it on the same page. The energy of Personal Best’s racing, nostalgia-tinged power pop is the icing on a perfect prelude, projecting an optimistic buzz prior to the main event.
As for Trust Fund’s set, it’s as triumphant as they come. Ellis becomes more of a facilitator than a focal point, as the crowd indulges in the atmosphere, near on every chorus sparking a mass sing-along that threatens to drown out the band. ‘January’ in particular sparks something – it might be as archetypal a Trust Fund song as they come with its tale of worry and emotional uncertainty, but the anthemic outpouring of the audience feels like a shot at blowing all of that away before we pass in to February.
The midway point is marked by a break for the raffle – there are few better visual representations of tonight than that of Martha’s Jimmy Cleveland with a Sainsbury’s carrier bag full of raffle tickets on his head – before interval number two sees the much talked about Three Lions Karaoke take centre stage, and what a spectacle it is. Launching straight in to ‘Football’ before the willing karaoke-ers have even exited the stage, seldom has there been a more affirming football- related sight than this at an indie pop concert. As a summer of European Championships draws ever closer, the thought of knighthoods for Ross Barkley, Raheem Sterling, Andros Townsend and the rest of England’s returning Euro 2016 heroes has never felt as real as in this moment. 50 years of hurt will come to an end as soon as Trust Fund are commissioned to pen the official England anthem. Mark these words.
Far from silly frivolities, these added ingredients – even the vegetarian cans of meat – all bring something welcome and unique to the passion and performance of the bands around them. Trust Fund’s music can often live in personal, introspective spaces, but the anxiety and uncertainty pent up in their songs are transformed tonight in to an overriding sense of joy. In the space of three hours and with the help of a well thought out billing, Trust Fund announce a new string to their bow tonight – that of an all-out entertainer.