Live Reviews

Live Review: Surfer Blood at The Scala in London on 9 Mar

By | Published on Tuesday 22 March 2011

Surfer Blood

One fact I did not know about Surfer Blood until after they walked on stage: the collective age of this quintet of strapping young (operative word) gentleman is under a century. Well, maybe a little over it, but probably not by much. Why was I so surprised? Maybe it’s because I was forced upon their debut by a friend (the kind of guy who listens to ‘old music you have never heard of, so don’t ask’), and the fact that I barely ever ‘Google image’ bands as I’m listening to them; so, to me, they sounded like old souls. And perhaps they are just that: old souls trapped in bodies younger than I am, a refreshing yet disturbingly depressing thought.

So there we have it: Surfer Blood, who are kind of like a bastardisation of the young Beach Boys (during their ‘Beach Boys Party’ years), old Weezer (praise be), The Shins and Joy Division, are a spritely gang of college geeks. Frontman JP Pitts is Augustus Gloop grown up handsome, a peacocky, peculiar young man who dances around the stage in a camp, awkward sort of fashion that makes him all the more endearing in his oddness. He bops around to crowd-favourite ‘Take It Easy’, he bashes his guitar about against the speakers (deafening us in the process), he interacts with the audience for longer moments between songs, like we’re all old friends. It’s fun.

The band surf (geddit?) their way through most of ‘Astro Coast’, adding in a few previously unheard new songs along the way, which builds up anticipation for their next album. ‘Swim’ doesn’t make it onto the setlist until last, and releasing it onto the crowd feels kind of like a relief. It’s what everyone, apparently, had been waiting for, but personally I enjoyed ‘Fast Jabroni’ and the aforementioned very poppy ‘Take It Easy’ a hell of a lot better.

It’s an energetic, sweaty, fantastically fun night. It’s not all down to youth, and that’s no longer a factor anymore: these boys know what they’re doing and how to do it to an alarmingly great effect, and age is but merely a number. TW