Having recently fallen in love with their debut album, I was keen to see how Help Stamp Out Loneliness translated their songs in the live arena.

To their enormous credit the sextet overcame a raft of technical problems, encountered with the venue's sound system to deliver a set rich in C86 reference points. Singer D. Lucille's Nico-esque vocal style gave proceedings the extra something that sets the band apart from the current crop of indie-pop chancers keen to recreate the heady days of the mid-eighties.

Opening track, the glorious 'Cottonopolis + Promises', is every inch the classic its recorded self is and instantly won over any doubters in the near capacity home crowd.

From then on it was plain sailing (save for gremlins which held up the flow slightly), particularly during songs like 'Record Shop' and 'Biergarten', which allowed D. Lucille to wave her arms around like the gold clad offspring of a bizarre union of Morrissey, Stevie Nicks and Kate Bush.

The final couplet of 'S*W*I*M' and a riotous keyboard heavy 'Split Infinitives', which saw the band finish in a chaotic singalong to the closing refrain of "Went out for the weekend.....it's officially summer" , just about put the top hat on things, and banished the slight disappointment that they couldn't cram the excellent 'Angelyne' or 'Tracy Tracy' into the set.

Still very much an undergrown band, Help Stamp Out Loneliness could soon be the next Pains Of Being Pure Of Heart and loneliness would be a distant memory. I defy anyone to witness this band live or to listen to their record, and not want to spread the word.

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Commenting On: Gullivers, Manchester, 14/5/2011 - Help Stamp Out Loneliness

ie London, England

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