Southend four-piece Asylums played their biggest gig to date when they took to the stage at the Scala in Kings Cross to support Carl Barât and the Jackals. Having already been picked up by BBC 6 Music, as well as being championed by other national stations, Asylums is a name we are likely to see a lot more of in the coming months. On Wednesday they play a short and energetic set of guitar-led indie-pop. With a sound not too far removed from early 90s indie bands such as Ash, Supergrass or an early-days Blur, they bounced around the stage throughout the set with the lead singer proving he had bucketsful of charisma and showmanship. Tongue in cheek tale of teenage lust 'Wet Dream Fanzine' and 'I’ve Seen Your Face in a Music Magazine' were standouts of the set.

Carl Barât may have found his Jackals through the rather unlikely formula of X-Factor style auditions on Facebook but his second post-Libertines band showed that they are a well-oiled machine, coming out in full force at the Scala. Chemistry between the band members was evident right from the off at the midweek gig - a tight unit that were clearly enjoying playing together - they took us through their debut record and revisited Barât’s other incarnations with songs from the Dirty Pretty Things and The Libertines.

The audience inside the modestly sized venue varied in age, within a couple of minutes of being inside I’d already spotted two 20-somethings in Libertines t-shirts and overheard a conversation by two 50-somethings that involved plans to watch the infamous Pete 'n’ Carl double act headline Reading. But forgetting about the Libertines reunion for at least one night, it is clear Barât’s leadership and songwriting ability are being used to their full potential with his new band. Their first album 'Let It Reign' is transformed into somewhat of a theatrical event in a live setting, at the Scala they were backed up by guest keyboardist Ed Harcourt, a full horn section and female backing vocalists.

Kicking things off with the call to arms song 'Victory Gun', with its rousing “We are not afraid of anyone” chanted lyrics, there are plenty of war references on the album, and with the addition of the horn section many of the songs are given a military sound. 'Summer in the Trenches' bears the closest resemblance to the Libertines sound, though much of 'Let It Reign' has more of an Americana sound.

The full crowd eruption was reserved for when they launched into a cover of the Libertines' 'Death on the Stairs' five songs into the set. Even though the Jackals proved triumphant it was the added moments of nostalgia that showed brotherly love continues to be very much at the forefront of Barât’s mind, whether it be with Doherty or with his new bandmates. Towards the end of the set he paid further tribute by picking up the acoustic guitar and playing a stripped down version of Doherty’s 'The Ballad of Grimaldi'.

'Let it Rain' has a slightly more soulful edge, helped along by the addition of the backing vocalists, and the single 'Glory Days' is a highlight. There was time for one more Libertines song in the encore with fans' favourite 'I Get Along' before the Jackals finished with 'War of Roses'.

If this was meant to be a plan B then it definitely seems to be paying off for Barât.










Related Links:

http://carlbaratandthejackals.com/
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https://www.facebook.com/carlbarat


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