When the insatiable music junkies of London’s Indie Music Meet-Up have a gig in mind it’s always worth a look and listen. And when it turned out to be (for me) a local gig and an album launch for a band with glowing endorsements by the fabulous Radio 6 Music it was a done deal…

First up on the bill is the deep funky rock-blues of Hot Teeth, growling veterans whose raw sound and cut-off denim barefoot stylings sends you – especially in the current weather – spiritually back to sweltering bourbon-swilling deadbeat evenings of some misbegotten backwater past you (probably) never had.

Paired guitars and drums are present in classic formation, with the signature addition of lyrical xylophoning. ‘I’m your Cherry Aid’ is comparatively light and upbeat, but is succeeded by a track that builds into a stomping anthemic monster and if it had a name in the first place, well it got damn well drowned out by the roaring, trippy wall-of-sound denouement.

Your life’s shit. Now pour yourself another and go get sozzled on Hot teeth.


It turns out that Lonely Tourist is not so much a band name as a description: a one man shirt-and-tied acoustic guitar act visiting, perhaps amongst other premier London sights, Manor House’s The Finsbury on his tourist itinerary from Glasgow via Bristol.

LT – Paul to his friends and audience – is unassuming but quietly confident: Locks’ gigging pal knows exactly what he’s doing. In no time he has the audience in the palm of his hand which, as happens, is a blur on the strings. It’s the beginning of a set of ‘common touch’ songs this being about, as he later explains, jobs he’s never had.

Some are wryly poignant, the one about spending a few weeks as a stunt double pleasantly humorous. Either way the audience are having a ball. 

And on to Locks! Well they immediately capitalise the word Act with their own ‘entrance theme’ – which turns out to have been snaffled from the BBC’s Funnybones cartoon. After a verbal greet and intro by Mike (Double Bass) they’re directly into bold strumming, bringing us their trademark ‘murder songs and death shanties’ delivered lyrically in shuddering tones by L Geary-Griffin with fiddled harmonies by Marian and solid percussion from Drummer Andy.

The venue’s packed by now and no surprise. Yes it’s the album launch of Skeletal Blues, but they’re freshly back from the Great Escape festival having also been championed by Radio 6 Music so their following has doubtless skyrocketed. They’ve found a particular advocate in Radio 6’s Steve Lamacq who, we gather, is present somewhere in the attentive audience enjoying the night himself. Locks are a band who are going somewhere.

They’ve got a sound all to themselves, but it’s a fusion of the genres they’d individually played in – Blues, Rockabilly, Trad Irish, Celtic Punk, Indie. It’s all there somewhere if you listen for it but the Trad Irish / Celtic Punk is foremost in the delightful melancholy of Bodies which partakes of a signature playfulness with time, slower verses that rally to a high tempo foot-tapping – even stomping – chorus.
If it’s Marian’s haunting bowing that underpins Bodies, it’s Mike’s bassy pluckings that carry the deliciously macabre Skin; that’s a tune worth YouTubing for the video as well as the song though it must be said it’s the greater pleasure to hear live. An especial thumbs up also for The Chase, a particularly sweet track but dark in its own way, and the rest of the album is a sultry swing between their folk and blues roots and well deserving of a proper listen.


All in all an absolutely cracking evening with a flawless, no-filler line-up: every act one to check out, but many congrats to Locks on the album and what they’ve achieved so far. We’ll be watching – and listening – closely to what comes next…



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