Not being a Londoner it’s hard to imagine how certain spaces can become music venues, and one such place is The Old Blue Last; a dusty, shaky old pub in some trendy part of town that The Molotovs chose to launch their debut single.
Celebrating first record ‘Flowers’ it was inevitable that flowers would be present, but as much as you can imagine the scene, even argue it as cliché, the scent of sunshine which overpowered stale ale and BO was something of a comfort in these post-smoking times. Then there’s the band, all attractive twenty-somethings, the kind of people you hate, they look so tight and secure.
So here we are, surrounded by pretty people and nice smells. When the music starts it’s something altogether different though as sharp, angular art rock with a Paul Simon bumper transcends the overly-packed room. Images of Arctic Monkeys, Fleet Foxes and at times a whiff of British Sea Power molest the airspace making a sound-scape so vivid, so electric that the room bursts into proverbial flames and dancing ensues. ‘The Letter’ and ‘I Told You Before’ are instantly adorable; uncompromising rock songs meticulously made in a way that suggests the whole band are quality, accomplished musicians. The highlight though is ‘Flowers’, and though you know it’s not their best song it’s still one of the catchiest pieces of new music this year generating a crowd reaction that finds even these cynical feet moving.
There’s so much Vampire Weekend to what The Molotovs do, but that’s no bad thing. They do it well, and in a way that lets you know they’re British. They don’t reinvent music with what they do live, but they perform so well, so tight on stage that it’s hard to find fault. Among the best new breed of talent for 2009, and also one of London’s best kept secrets, The Molotovs have quite a career ahead of themselves.