A wise old football pundit, and I realise that is a contradiction in terms, was once asked at what age a young player should start playing in the Premiership. His response was straightforward and simple. If you're good enough you're old enough. Little Boy Lost, despite having barely left school, are most definitely good enough, and by extension ready for their ascension through the divisions. Tonight a well drilled platoon of willing parents acting as their road-crew for the evening only emphasises their adolescence. Nonetheless they write and perform with such assured maturity that this West London five-piece stand out as an intriguing proposition.

Front-man James Caley performs with a natural intensity, totally bereft of any teen or wannabe affectation. He arches his taught frame in to the mic as he forces the words out, his stuttering movements and wild eyes reminiscent of Ian Curtis' intense stage presence. His vocal style, part singing, part spoken word, may not always catch the hooks and melodies from guitarists Reece Honeyball and Matt Humphrey, but since when did a pitch perfect delivery ever matter in the spontaneous expression of searing indie pop. There's no Brits School professionalism or X-Factor influences here. Caley is the real deal.

While Caley mesmerises, and Honeybull's unflinching stare hypnotises, Andrew Park's eclectic drumming (watch out Matt Helders your crown could topple at any moment) and Corey Dimond's no nonsense bass runs transfix the room, and I wonder just how a band so young became this good this early in their career. It definitely helps that all five were school mates and they've grown up together. They were a gang long before they became a band, which, to my mind at least, gives them great credentials for claiming a stake in the music world. Who doesn't want a piece of the newest gang in town?

Tonight's set, comprising six originals and a cover of the Maccabees' 'No Kind Words', brings to mind the charge of the Libertines, the poetry and urgency of Arctic Monkeys and, of course, the depth and deftness of the Maccabees. Little Boy Lost, a name taken from William Blake's enduring poem, however, sound like all and none of the above. Although they wear their influences on their sleeves, LBL are carving their own sound. With only two songs recorded to date, tonight's opener 'Two Young Lovers' Hearts', and a wit laden tale of teen angst and emerging sexual politics in 'He Came Out For a Cigarette When', oddly omitted tonight, LBL have abundant time on their side. With the exuberance, unfettered honesty, and sheer energy of their youth LBL may just be good enough for the Premiership.

Keep an eye out for this lot, they've got something to say, and they're saying it well.


Little Boy Lost play The Boiler Room, Guildford on April 3rd.










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