On what feels like one of the hottest days of the year the last thing any sane person should be doing is cramming themselves into a cosy basement alongside about 80 other people. Yet when presented with the chance to see Summer Camp perform some brand new material in an intimate setting and with a new live line up, the heat becomes inconsequential. Even before the band has started the majority of the audience have sweat dripping from places where most people didn’t know they had places and could reasonably expect to fry eggs on their foreheads. Despite this, anticipation levels in this tiny corner of Dalston are high and we are all eager to hear some new songs.
The heat is quickly forgotten when the band starts up and standing around gasping for air is soon replaced with boogying, whooping and general feelings of merriment and delight amongst the sold out crowd. One thing that is immediately clear is that the new live set up works extremely well. The addition of a live bassist (take a bow Louis Bhose) works wonders and gives the sound additional depth and energy. It may just be a coincidence but a new Elizabeth seems to have been unleashed as a result. More confident than ever before, more at ease perhaps, she has grown as a performer and is now an even better frontwoman than ever. She may share vocal duties with Jeremy but she is starting to own the stage and it looks like she loves it. Neither of them looks overly happy with their decision to wear suits on stage mind you.
The set is super tight, drummer William Bowerman continues to be one of the most underrated around, and the new tracks are slotted seamlessly in amongst newly arranged old favourites, much to the delight of the crowd. Standouts are the mid set triumvirate of “Crazy”, piano ballad “Fighters” and the already released “Fresh”, which sounds amazing live and prompts the biggest boogie of all tonight, causing further weight loss through copious sweating.
From then on we are treated to a quick jaunt down memory lane, the confession that were Magnum ice-creams a bit cheaper we all would have got one, and then the set draws to a close with crowd favourite “I Want You”. As the crowd disperses and air returns to our lungs we are left to reflect on a storming set by a band that gets better and better with each release and show. The album is due out in September and judging from tonight, it promises to be a corker.
Summer Camp’s eponymous sophomore album is due out 9 September and is available for pre-order from iTunes now.
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