Samir Chadha shares his experience of seeing the two up-and-coming bands in Hackney this week
Anyone who walked into MOTH Club Wednesday night was greeted by a small, growing pit of balloons. Even Diet Cig’s Alex Luciano got a bit excited. They did go well with the venue’s glittery gold ceiling.
Tonight’s first act is the Scottish four-piece The Spook School, getting the crowd going with both their fast-paced brand of indie-pop and stage banter in between. Drummer Niall describes them as one of those “queer bands” that we’ve heard “so much about on the internet”; many of their songs do have LGBT themes, and they do go on to thank MOTH Club for making the bathrooms gender-neutral this evening. The crowd have a great time, the room replete with balloons in the air and singalong chants like: “Fuck you, I’m still alive”.
Diet Cig, a “slop pop” band from New York, released their debut album, Swear I’m Good At This earlier this year, and while drummer Noah Bowman had been in bands before, Diet Cig was the first time Luciano had even played guitar, and she’d encourage you to do the same, taking time between songs to remind the crowd that “Rock ‘n Roll is for everyone!”. Luciano has become known for her wild stage manner, bouncing around the stage with her guitar, and tonight is no exception. No one is safe, not the crowd, not Bowman’s kick drum and definitely not the balloons. Bowman might be reserved and focused on the drumming, but Luciano has energy for the both of them.
The band play songs from their single, EP, and debut album, with Luciano taking breaks in between to thank us, inspire us, or get mocked for her historical knowledge (she wasn’t sure if Winston Churchill was alive), and if you want your star sign guessed, you can see her after the show. Highlights from the show, accompanied by singalong, include Tummy Ache, the album’s lead single, and Sixteen, a song about having sex with a different “Alex”. The band finish their set (the encore, that is) with their breakthrough song, Harvard. Diet Cig have come a long way in a very short time (they were only formed two years ago and sold out two nights in a row here), but they still have the same energy and sense of fun they did when they first got going.
Featured image credit: Samir Chadha