I want to go on at length about how great this band is but the reasons are so straight-forward that it’s going to be as short as the band’s set was sweet and brief.
In three-quarters of an hour, Shopping energised and bounced the crowd, rattling through a stack of short and punchy songs off their two albums and sharing a laugh. The tunes were constantly frisky and lyrics direct and simple. The band was amazingly tight; the trio of guitar, drums and bass locked in really close to make a danceable ball of fire. The effect was helped by the smart stereo mix, placing guitar left and bass right, making the bouncy interplay clear.
The band aims to make people dance and Rachel, on guitar, is the pace-setter. A constant blur of motion, her Telecaster chopping lines while she bops and jumps, a mop of hair flying around. After a slew of boppy songs she says: “that was the warm-up – this is the dancey stuff”. Andrew the drummer’s dry vocals are put to use before, half-way into the set, he announces “let’s get the party started”. From there it gets even more frenetic and the inter-band banter sillier; bassist Billy prodding Rachel with surreal comments. Grins all round, throughout the set suggest a band, and an audience, having fun.
You’ll note the lack of photographs; at no point did the band move slow enough for us to get a decent shot!
Despite channelling a sound that owes debts to The Gang Of Four, Punishment Of Luxury, Delta 5 and other post-punk bands, Shopping have perfected and simplified the formula into something close to perfection, whether live or on disc. On record, marvel at the structure, concept and lyrics; live, be amazed at the non-stop buzzing energy.
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