So then, that’s In The City done for another year. After months of having smoke blown up their unsigned asses, bands from both near and far have duly played to miniscule crowds in the hope that, somewhere amongst the smattering of suited attendees, is the A&R guy that’s going to make it happen for them.
As the country spirals headfirst into the same kind of financial oblivion to which the record industry has long since succumbed, the likelihood is, of course, that it probably ain’t gonna happen. Those bands that didn’t quite cut it will be back next year, jaded but not necessarily better, repeating the whole process again before finally accepting their rightful home on the musical scrapheap. For most of the bands that played In The City 2008 this is for the best, but there was one band who deserved better than to join the legions of the forgotten and the forgettable, London based O Children, who played Drowned in Sound's birthday showcase on 7 October.
Having risen from the ashes of Bono Must Die (who, admirable as their sentiment may have been, were by all accounts terrible), O Children have something that was sorely lacking from so many bands on display at this year's A&R hoedown – star quality. Sure, on initial inspection the bassist and guitarist might look a bit gormless, but the second lead singer Tobias’ guttural Cave meets Curtis rasp kicks in, all reservations are duly cast aside - it’s the finest voice that this particular pair of New Ears has been privy to all year.
That they wear their Joy Division / Cure / Bauhaus influences on their sleeve is irrefutable, but despite their well worn reference points O Children somehow manage to sound fresh and exciting rather than contrived and clichéd. They’re not without fault - their set featured a fair portion of dead wood, but when they hit they their mark O Children are a genuinely thrilling live proposition with evident potential to go a lot, lot further - surely what ‘In The City’ is actually all about. Download the below mp3 of 'Radio Waves' and become similarly excited. More please…
Live @ Durr last month...
Words: Billy iDle
Photo: Gabriel Green