Live review: Declan McKenna and Lisbon @ The Cookie (22/01/16)
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★★★★☆ Friday night at The Cookie. Teenagers huddle with glitter on their faces whilst large groups of adults glug back wine like it’s water. The crowd are in the party mood as the room fills to welcome opener, Declan McKenna. The young emerging talent from down south is joined by his live band. Together, they look like the clique at school that would accidentally ditch class because they were too busy scratching lyrics into a wall. Debuting new tracks ‘Why Do You Feel So Down?’, ‘Bethlehem’ and ‘Isombard’, the multi-instrumentalist has an endearing live performance. Echoed electronics and guitar reverb fill the room, brash and loud. Though on stage he and his band reflect awkward eccentricity. Timid between tracks, the music is what gives Declan his confidence. “He’s bashing the shit outta that guitar!” the guy behind me comments in appreciation. The raucous energy on stage is undeniable, together the band infuse techno and psychedelia and inject alt rock with synth. Backed up by glittered bass and kicking, unapologetic drums; Declan’s vocals can howl or yearn and feel honest. Giving ‘Paracetamol’ a solemn reception. “If you’re going to know any of these songs, it’s probably this one…” McKenna introduces internet hit ‘Brazil’. Cue phones coming out to record. The charismatic track goes down a treat, just like its giant hook. A solid performance of sonic pop music.
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