Thursday, 21 March 2013

Candy Says: Live review, The Wilmington Arms, London, March 2013


Last night’s sold out show at the Wilmington Arms, located just off trendy Exmouth Market in central London, was a first for Candy Says. Having formed out of the ashes of the recently disbanded Little Fish, Candy Says emerged on stage at the intimate venue with an air of meek apprehension, before lead singer Juju addressed the crowd, and jumped straight into Dead On Arrival.

A mixture of Little Fish fans and inquisitive hipsters keen for a good night out, the crowd soon embraced the confident sound of a band on the cusp of making bigger waves outside the fish bowl.

Teaming up with former Fish bandmate Ben Walker, Eliza Zoot and Mike Monaghan join Juju to bring their self-confessed Velvet Underground sound (their name is taken from the opening track of the Underground’s third album) to light.

Unlike many emerging bands that sandwich material around a debut single while playing live, Melt Into The Sun sat comfortably among the strong catalogue, with Juju’s voice finding its place, both lyrically and sonically. It seems a break really is as good as rest.

Heartfelt and genuine, Candy Says are anything but bittersweet, and offer honest, lo-fi pop arrangements without pretension or expectation. The adage of Eliza Zoot on vocals brought depth and warmth to an intense set, where standout tracks include the sublime Hummingbird, and the light-hearted Favourite Flavour.

Closing on the unexpectedly sombre Hollywood, the band left the stage with the crowd eager for more. Greeting friends old and new with stories and genuine content, Candy Says aren’t looking to make a quick buck out of a niche market. They’re passionate, and simply create music that makes them happy. A strange concept these days, they’re one to definitely watch.