The Flatmates were very firmly part of the mid-1980s explosion of British indie music, which sparked the much-celebrated C86 compilation. The band had a string of indie hits, but never managed to record a full-length album before their split in 1989. They have recently reformed with an almost entirely different line-up, only guitarist Martin Whitehead was a member of the original, and arrived in London both to play their hits, and to show off a couple of new songs.
Firstly, however, Flowers took to the stage. Impact had seen this London-based trio before, when they supported Hatcham Social, and we remarked on just how much noise they managed to make. Saturday was no different, with guitarist Sam switching between jangly guitar to full on ear-splitting distortion. Rachel’s voice, which remained stunningly beautiful throughout, captivated on recent b-side, ‘Stuck’, during which she also played a spellbinding bassline, on just a single-stringed bass guitar. Flowers are a great band, with all the potential in the world to do big, big things.
Next on were The Flatmates, now fronted by young Swede, Lisa Westerlund, who, despite the odd moment of lyrical confusion, put on a pretty good show. The rest of the band were tight enough: Martin’s guitar lines just like they were three decades ago; a solid rhythm section and swirling keys. As good as it was to hear some new material though, The Flatmates’ older hits were easily the best songs of the night. ‘Shimmer’ and ‘You’re Gonna Cry’ were spine-tingling, but it was left to final song, ‘I Could Be In Heaven’, to properly remind us just how important The Flatmates have been to music. A true pop band.
…Alex is listening to King Krule – 6 Feet Beneath The Moon…