Gig Review: Lola Colt, supported by Bleech (at Oslo, Hackney – 04/06/14)

Review by Alison Gray

(Pictures – Mark Kelly)

As soon as they came on-stage Bleech owned it.

Sisters Jen and Katherine were brimming with attitude and full of energy as they moved around the stage, and the band played with confident ease (bassist Katherine doing so barefoot). ‘Here I Am’, reminiscent of 90’s Grunge, sounded awesome; ‘Not Like You’ with its highly infectious chorus was more upbeat, verging on Britpop. I also particularly enjoyed ‘Mondays’ – but the favourite of the night had to be the low tone ‘Easy Ride.’

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Bleech released their second album ‘Humble Sky’ in March of this year, and set the bar high for the evening, showing that guitar music is very much alive.


But from the moment Lola Colt came on I knew this was going to be a special gig.

Named for a ’67 spaghetti western, Lola Colt have been attracting attention on the live music scene for some time – and it’s easy to see why.

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Three guys, three girls, all in black, microphone adorned with a black dream catcher, they kicked off with Rings of Ghosts with its intense drumming, rhythmic – almost tribal – sound; Gun’s vocals remind of Grace Slick from 60’s psychedelic rock group Jefferson Airplane, the keyboard also giving it a psychedelic edge.

‘Johnny’, sung with steely conviction by lead singer Gun, is a darker soundscape culminating with the subtle rattle of tambourines bringing it to its rousing end. ‘Jaguar’ builds slowly with a pounding of drums into a deep, dark country sound. Gun’s vocals are intense and hypnotic: the result overall is pure intoxication.Throughout their set Lola Colt veer between the influences of country and western and psychedelic rock in style and theme. ‘Highway’, sung in a drawl, has a twang of the former; the passionate lyrics of Vacant Hearts tells the tale of a woman tormented by jealousy (‘When you kiss her it rips out my heart’ Gun intones as she locks the audience with her wide-eyed stare); Boom Boom Blasphemy sounds the perfect backing track to a western of any era. Lola 5

‘Diamonds’ is very much the latter, pure psychedelia delivered in Gun’s sultry vocals, and from the drum around her waist on which she pounds out a heartbeat. We’re then treated to the wonderful scratchy electric guitar of ‘I get high if you get high’ before ‘Away from the water’ brings the set to an end. On this also the electric guitar-work is magnificent, and reverb blends with the subtle sound of tambourine. It’s a wall of sound, building and building until Gun’s soulful voice begins: an epic song to finish a brilliant show.

This is the way to launch an album.

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