Photos by Nick Miners

Songs about dreams of escaping make a lot of sense on a cold grey night in East London. Cults’ amalgamation of girl groups, 60s doo-wop, Phil Spector pop and bedroom indie ditties is also just what’s needed to warm cold hearts and bodies.


Support is from Boscombe’s finest, Bos Angeles. They are nonchalantly superb. Their New Order-y low slung bass lines and effortless guitar work are irresistible. Grungy and lo-fi in just the right amounts, ‘Days Of Youth’ sounds just as good as when I first heard it but it’s the more taut and catchy ‘Beach Slalom’ which showcases everything good about them. If lead singer Richard Board develops a little more swagger as a front man they will be outstanding.

Then it’s Cults. They immediately launch into ‘Abducted’ and from then on the next 45 minutes is a perfect blur of xylophones, girl boy pop and mini-epic songs. Even with the notoriously bad sound of XOYO, Madeline Follin’s voice sounds powerful and hypnotising.


The set showcases a band who play ‘easy listening’ music in the very best sense – sassy, twinkling pop songs that produce a sudden rush of teenage nostalgia.

Slow burner ‘You Know What I Mean’ (perhaps the best thing they’ve done) is their torch song but elsewhere ‘Most Wanted’, ‘Bumper’ and ‘Go Outside’ bounce along with a zest and gusto that make the crowd glow. It makes sense that they ask the crowd to dance. Follin sways and xylophones ping but it’s more than just her voice - synths, guitars, and samples gel together to create a wall of Spectorish sound.


They finish with ‘Rave On’ but return for an encore with ‘Oh My God’ as Brian Oblivion (always thought that was a great name) shines a light in the audience’s face. Then they leave. This is a short, sharp and sweet set from an act who are so much more than a blog buzz band. Next time, when they have more material to choose from, they could blow the roof off.