The Lounge Society Live: Hope for a New Generation of Guitar Music
The post-punk quartet hailing from Hebden Bridge showcased much of their new album ‘Tired of Liberty’, but the brilliance of their earlier singles endures. Review by Madeleine Player.
The hype - with just a hint of impatience - is palpable among The Lounge Society’s young fanbase eagerly awaiting their (slightly overdue) arrival in Brudenell Social Club. The room is near full capacity when the suit-clad Speedy Wunderground golden boys finally stride on stage. The grandeur of their entrance amplifies the excitement rippling through the cosy second room of the venue.
The set kicks off with Cain’s Heresy, the band crackling with energy in a confident display of a well-rehearsed song from their debut EP. Drummer Archie Dewis leads the charge, attracting the occasional glance from cue-reading bandmates as they switch tempo during People are Scary. His deft cymbal work and relentless snare tears through sprightly tracks Remains and Last Breath.
Although their engagement with the crowd between songs is sparse, they acknowledge shyly it is their first time playing in the beloved grassroots venue, a sure upgrade from last year’s smaller (but no less charming) Hyde Park Book Club. Yet The Lounge Society are anything but bashful during Beneath The Screen; frontman Cameron Davey contorts and scans wild-eyed from the stage, wrapping up the song by smashing his forehead on the synth. He sheds his blazer, primally howling and pounding his chest during No Driver, a mesmerizingly far cry from the composed entrance. They may lack the star-power promise evident in Davey, but the rest of the band play their instruments with no less vigour, the stage clearly their natural habitat.
In contrast, a moment of respite is provided with mellower track Upheaval. They demonstrate their maturity through their delicate application and paired back approach to the song, proving their range as they construct a more atmospheric tone.
With whisperings circling amongst expectant gig-goers, Dewis pounds the floor tom; fans prick their ears and clap in time keenly. Guitarists Herbie May and Hani Paskin-Hussain play the familiar dance of chords that introduce Generation Game, a favourite that continues to outclass much of the rest of the setlist. The lyrics ‘There’s a generation staring/Down the barrel of a gun’ feel all the more profound given the young audience and bleak current affairs currently overshadowing daily life.
Nevertheless, the crowd are not particularly listening to the lyrics, they are jovial in their celebration of youthful escapism. The Lounge Society are an exceptional live act and there’s something for everyone; their display of fresh post-punk anthems makes me optimistic for the future of guitar music in the mainstream.
Words: Maddie Player
Photo credit: Maddie Player