REVIEW gig Old Subbacultcha Old Subbacultcha

A new breed of pop takes over as PAWWS delights The Waiting Room

Pop music can sometimes be disregarded by critics due to a severe lack of integrity. We see terrible formulaic acts take over the world and although there’s not much denying that their songs are (frustratingly) catchy, there isn’t much substance behind the sugary outer shell.


Technology&Teamwork / Face+Heel / PAWWS @ The Waiting Room, Stoke Newington

Luckily then, there are still acts willing to take an unashamedly ‘pop’ route, but with feeling behind the music. One such act is PAWWS, the headliner of tonight’s show. First up however, are Technology&Teamwork, a new duo featuring members of Hot Chip and XX Teens. Despite this only being their third ever gig, the two-piece show no sign of nervousness as they confidently play through their small yet impressively strong back catalogue. Sarah Jones thumps away at the drums whilst Anthony Silvester’s subtle keys and synth beats intertwine with his haunting voice, often accompanied by Sarah’s harmonious singing to create something accessible, yet with real emotion behind it. Although The Waiting Room is a small space, the drums could have definitely done with being mic’d up to create a fuller, dancier sound, but all in all this is an assertive display of things to come. On second is another duo in the shape of Face+Heel. Hailing from Bristol, this duo is also relatively new to the scene having formed in early 2012. Again, this doesn’t stop their sometimes gentle, sometimes hugely powerful beats cascade through the room, but to an unfortunately thinning crowd. Perhaps the harking of the pub upstairs was too much for some to take at this free gig, but those who did venture upstairs missed out on a solid set from an act that might not be playing venues this small for much longer. And to round off an evening of pop-edged music with real sensibility, North London singer/songwriter PAWWS takes to the stage. The room is now at bursting point and it’s clear who people are here to see as some of the crowd (present company included) resort to filing up the stairs in order to catch a glimpse of PAWWS. Uplifting, fun and danceable, her music puts a smile on the entire room and, as can be expected from a classically trained musician, everything is note perfect. Songs like ‘Slow Love’ are perfect examples of how this music should be done and it’s no surprise that she already has another show booked in at the Lexington in February. Three solid acts took to the stage tonight and although the pop influence varied with each group, it’s good to know that if you do try to crack the seemingly impenetrable sugar coating that’s spread itself through the mainstream, there are some delectable treats underneath. 7/10