By Dannii Leivers
Fly53 NME Radar Tour – Golden Silvers, Marina And The Diamonds, Local Natives, Yes Giantess
York, The Duchess
“It’s so LOUD!” shrieks Local Natives bassist Andy Hamm, referring to the ear-bleeding din reverberating through the backstage walls. “Seriously every night on the tour has just been the same, my ears are ringing…”
The dude ain’t kidding. The venue only opened its doors 15 minutes ago, but already first act up Boston’s synth-happy Yes Giantess are wrapping our heads round a rainbow of joyous, throbbing pop that begs, borrows and pilfers the best bits of Prince, Passion Pit and MGMT and ensconces it in a shiny tin-foil, cheddar-cheese wrapper.
And the volume is up, every stab of synth like a blast to the head. Californians Local Natives are just as face-splittingly loud but are the odd-ones-out on this electro-pop heavy bill due to the fact the cupid’s arrows they use to pierce a roomful of hearts come in the form of gee-tars.
Setting up camp somewhere between Grizzly Bear and Fleet Foxes with a soupcon of Beach Boys-esque saintly vocal harmonies, their gentle, surf-swept folk-indie lap at the edges of our synthed-out minds. And by the time they launch into a spaced out version of Talking Heads’ ‘Warning Sign’ they’ve got the entire room swooning over them and singer Taylor Rice’s porno moustache.
Marina and the Diamonds don’t do moustaches, nor does she do subtle, chanted melodies. Dressed in a low cut black jumpsuit, as she thrashes straight into ‘Girls’, big hair bouncing, glossy lips pouting, coquettish magnetism Katy Perry could only dream of, any romance in the room quickly turns to lascivious abandon.
This sass-buttered diva is all about the performance, segueing graceful dance moves with huge vocals that flutter, gallop and swoop from an operatic falsetto to a throaty purr at the toss of a head or knowingly smile. Parading through the dreamlike ‘I Am Not A Robot’, a frantic cover of Late of the Pier’s ‘Space and the Woods’ and gloriously mad-hatter ‘Mowgli’s Road’, she unceremoniously manages to whip the carpet out from underneath tonight’s headliners feet.
Swapping glamour for geeky charm, the last time this London-based trio Golden Silvers played here was to about five people, so now the presence of a full, rapt room gives a jubilant edge to their already acid-fried cheer. And from the sweet honey of ‘Another Universe’, to the stomping psych-rock-pop of ‘Shakes’ and Bowie-esque ‘True Romance’, York are quickly left with little doubt that gold and silver can glitter just as loudly and brightly as diamonds.