I'm generally reticent about bands that are clearly in thrall to classic artists in the rock and roll pantheon. Anyone who ever picked up an instrument has their influences, sure, but jumping straight towards the Hall of Fame for yours runs the risk of appearing, well, a bit uninspired. This viewpoint clearly made me a natural choice to review much-fancied Mazes and Subpop's Dum Dum Girls, two bands whose influences could comfortably fill a couple of issues of Mojo.

Mazes emerge on stage and dive straight into set opener 'Go Betweens' with the confidence you'd expect of a band whose debut album, A Thousand Heys, is being talked up by all and sundry. They're not a band that goes overboard with the performance element of playing live, but rather let the strength of their good-time indie-pop songs carry them along a wave of summery vibes. Man.

My initial thoughts upon first hearing Mazes were that they sat comfortably between the melodic knack of The Kinks and the slightly frazzled fuzziness of Pavement. That comparison bears out, but as their set skits along different elements jump out at me in their songs. Unlike a lot of other bands surfing the current lo-fi wave of 60s-influenced indie, Mazes aren't afraid to crank the distortion, recalling American stalwarts Superchunk at certain points. The band departs the stage as breezily as they emerged and the crowd is suitably won over. As for me, my toe had been tapping mercilessly throughout, and I'm never one to question my extremities, for better or worse.

Dum Dum Girls are a slightly different proposition. Whereas Mazes had a carefree here-are-our-songs-now-we're-hitting-the-bar onstage demeanour, Dum Dum Girls offer something a little more theatrical. Musically, the band is like a potted history of some of punk rock's high watermarks, their songs at different points recalling The Ramones, Patti Smith and The Jesus and Mary Chain. The fact a fight broke out in the crowd during their set made the latter comparison all-the-more pertinent. Who said Brighton is just a town of hippies?

Glammed-up and offering a good line in intense staring, the band brings to mind two things. Firstly, they recall a period of rock and roll when bands would construct personas via which they could channel their music. The four Dum Dum Girls play under pseudonyms, and their stage presence and image is an extension of that. The second thing that struck me was just what a menacing edge the whole package offers. Of course, being stared at by a group of women naturally cuts straight to the core of my being as an insecure, socially awkward indie-rock dweeb, but I'd like to think I'm not the only one that felt this at the time.

But then, something shifts. The Mary Chain-isms of the opening verse to 'He Gets Me High' give way to uplifting, bright harmonies in the chorus and everything feels good again. This is a trick DDG use to good effect, the ability to mix steeliness with sweetness. Admittedly, in a set full of songs that are similarly paced, it's tempting to be dismissive of something that veers close to being formulaic. But Dum Dum Girls manage to pull it off via a combination of power and charm. The set speeds by and by the time they have re-emerged for an excellent encore run-through of The Smiths' 'There is a Light That Never Goes Out', I'm quite disappointed that it's all over.