“Buzz Band”, it’s a term that usually brings with it a cliquey scene brimming over with pretentiousness and a lot of the time a bit of an acquired taste, a bit niche perhaps. So you’d be forgiven going into Tuesday night's show, featuring not just one but two bands bringing a ton of buzz the past few weeks, with a little scepticism.


The first band Gengahr only have a few demo’s floating about online thus far, but have already been picked up by Transgressive Records, so even if you haven’t heard them you have to assume there is some substance in the hype about these guys. For a band in relative infancy they are incredibly tight and easy to listen to, which may sound like a disservice, but as I will explain further when I get to the nights headline – it’s something that’s been missing from the new music scene for a little while.


Canadian quintet Alvvays have received a lot of praise for their debut record of almost the same name; Always - a tongue in cheek nod to what must be (and will surely continue to be) a mistake often made about the actual spelling of their name.

There has been some criticism about a lack of originality to Alvvays sound which may well be true but why should that matter? Despite not doing anything we haven't heard before, what Alvvays do - they do incredibly well.

There was a genuine excitement around Birthdays in anticipation for the show and not like that you get from other buzz bands - in fact everyone I speak to before going down to the basement goes out of their way to stress that this could be more than just another one of those bands.

With only nine songs in their arsenal it’s obvious that this will be a short set but given the heat of the Dalston venue that’s not necessarily a bad thing. From the moment they walk on stage, lead singer Molly has the crowd’s attention locked and after an neat ice breaker the band kick things off and give us a performance encompassing the entire record without hardly pausing for breath.

Jovial heckling is brushed aside with razor sharp wit and the set is rounded off with a cover of 80s Aussies, The Hummingbirds. Rather aptly this cover of the track ‘Alimony’ serves as the precursor to the finale of ‘Archie, Marry Me’ - which is surely the stand out indie tune of the summer? Alvvays’ perfect brand indie-pop brings a smile to this writer’s face that lasts the entire 45 minutes they remain at the helm of the stifling basement. Something I haven't experienced at a gig since seeing San Francisco band Girls, which believe me is not something I say lightly.

What both these bands brought to the show on Tuesday night was fun, and it reminded me of why I started writing in the first place, and why I love music so much. We can wax lyrical about the latest thing for the five minutes it remains a thing before people get bored but what I saw in that basement this week is real fun, performed by musicians having fun and witnessed by people having fun. Can we do this again soon please?