Last year, London’s Playing House released their debut EP, New Haircut, a three-track release of joy. It was utterly brilliant, and two of the tracks from that EP, ‘Grapefruit’ and ‘New Haircut’ made the annual Festive Fifty list here at the end of the year.
So, a year later and the trio present us with their second set, another three-track EP entitled Jocelyn. Yet again, it’s another thing of Joy (capital letter intended). It maintains the spirit of that glorious debut EP, and sees a slightly glossier feel, which in no way detracts from the sound. This is perhaps due to the increased use of keyboards, much more to the forefront than before.
‘Jelly Legs’ is the first track to do the rounds here, and it’s musically more-ish, typical of a band who deserve to be stars. They remain in thrall to the spirit of the eighties, but the end result is a fresh feel. They are awesome live, too – another return to Scotland soon would be much appreciated!
Playing House -‘New Haircut’ (self-released)
Every so often, along comes a band who just look so bloody perfect, it almost seems too good to be true. Even before you hear a note of their debut EP, the band look so utterly cool, just hearing them blows you away. There’s Izzy Cox the bassist, who stands with the quiet and friendly confidence of one who doesn’t take any crap, and guitarist Killian McCorley who looks like a young Alex Kapranos and you suspect might well have been the class goof – in the best possible sense. The three-piece are fronted by Mel Patman, who would be a cover star in any age. Subverting the notion of Essex girl on its head, just by being, she has the star quality by being there, and one who sings in her own voice and accent. Even as the support band to a small crowd, there’s just something about this band that just cannot fail to win people over. Best of all, their debut release matches their well-regarded live shows.
A debut release should sound like a manifesto, and what is so utterly impressive about this EP (one of many things, actually) is the way that the three tracks show different sides to the band. Any of them could have been the lead track. It opens with the urgency of ‘Feel The Weight’ a song that could inspire moshers to dance, and dancers to mosh. Title track ‘New Haircut’ showcases the band’s love of post-punk yet sounds utterly fresh. Closer ‘Grapefruit’ (damn, is this over so soon?) is more atmospheric, and while taught and focused there are suggestions it could go off in any musical avenue it so chose.
There’s no wasted time here, and all you can do is go back to the beginning. Seek them out now, and enjoy the feeling of joy and of being proved right announcing you heard them before everyone.
New Haircut is out now