OK i take back nearly everything I said about STG after seeing them live last night. They are nothing at all like The Modern. I was fooled by boy/girl electro vox but live they sound much much rockier than on record. The confusion began when we showed up at Barfly to check we were on the list a bit earlier on and it seemed full of glammy emo kids. And I really do mean kids – surely it’s an 18+ venue? James and I felt like we were chaperones at a teenagers party.
Supporting were Under The Influence Of Giants – a band I’d never heard of who’ve just been signed to Island Records – who fall somewhere between the rock soul of RHCP and the falsetto hooks of Scissor Sisters. Aaron Bruno (vocals/lyrics), Jamin Wilcox (drummer, keyboards), Drew Stewart (guitars), and David Amezcua (bass) make up the L.A. group. While Aaron prances round the stage in his best lycra armgear, David Amezcua is a bassist who’s been studying the always-pleasing art of looking like Jack Black.
To be honest there was nothing exceptional about them. They were just good, fun and I enjoyed them.
The changeover between bands was exceptionally long for such a tiny stage before Shiny Toy Guns came on, leaving us getting a bit restless and clock watching. Finally they came on and opened with You Are The One (I think). Live, much of the synths seem to fall quietly under full on emo guitar. It doesn’t sound anything like The Modern, the 80s or Linken Park – in fact on the way to the gig I decided it was more Muse than LP, but screw that idea too. This was total Panic at the Disco territory and the ‘kids’ knew it. For every epic drawn-out hysterical verse, there was a punchy chorus which got us all bouncing about. But, then suddenly it would switch into soaring, even DJ Sammy-esque europop on their poppier tracks such Le Disko. Covering all the bases, they switch from I-won’t-tidy-my-room emo howling to full-throttle pop-rock bliss many times throughout the course of the set, and frequently even within the same song. Unfortunatly they didn’t look as glamtastic as their promotional photos suggest but special mention must go to the drummer, Mike Martin, who’s hilariously theatrical drumming will surely go onto better things. Leaving the stage, the band thanked the crowd who had followed them from ‘Essex County – Colchester’ last night to watch them tonight as well.
Under the influence of Giants play again in London tonight at Madame Jo Jo’s on Brewer Street. Otherwise catch them supporting Shiny Toy Guns at various UK venues in the next week – full deets on, you guessed it.