Kate Stellmanis/Pens – Old Blue Last, London

Kate Stellmanis

Kate Stellmanis

A roasting hot day in the city, and The Last’s dingy interior offers some respite from the packs of dogs and wobbling drunks outside Old Street Tube Station.

It’s a Thursday, and despite things being quiet, Vice Magazine are launching a Brazilian issue, and the lure of free rum filled Caprianhas has lured a few desperate Hoxton style pirates from their holes. The entire Canadian Hipster population of London sounds like a band in it’s own right, but it’s actually the vocal crowd who’ve turned up to support Kate Stellmanis and her able percussionist Maya.

The girls look slightly scared on the tiny, crowded stage, and I’m just about to feel sorry for her when they burst into some excellent, angular electropop, Kate’s glissando vocals bringing to mind Bat for Lashes, but the close harmonies they carry out flawlessly make things sound like Gregorian chant filtered through an Atari.

A short set is broken up only by a small bout of giggles over a bum note, but by the end people are up on their feet and the room is filling up nicely. Definitely worth keeping an eye on.

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Pens

Pens

Next up it’s clumsy all girl power trio Pens, who carry off some bouncy, Ramones influenced White Stripes action, with the neat trick of all swapping instruments every song. The heavy drumming and shouty choruses get a little lost in a muddy mix, and the Wicker Man hipster dancing jibes with some nice touches that give us the bastard offspring of Nirvana and The Monkees (an influence that goes deeper than the 60s Cher-cut), but the sheer enthusiasm carries things along nicely.

A good, fun performance from a super-kawaii Motorhead.

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