Photos by Eleonora Collini

On Monday night a few of the 405 editorial team, as well as a healthy amount of 405 writers, headed to the HMV Forum in London to see Girls play their biggest headline show to date.

Rather than bringing you a track-by-track account of the evening, we've turned our review into an 'editors opinion' type deal. Read on to find out what we thought.



Tim Boddy: Photography Editor

Weird Dreams, the support to Girls, are so-called as frontman/bassist Doran Edwards has a tendency to have weird dreams; very much taking the non-figurative route with the moniker. Beach Boys, barbiturates and bountiful melodies drift with a susurrus warmth from the stage to a receptive crowd. An impressive showing for a band with just the one album (Choreography) to their name and in a venue this size - there is room for improvement however. At one point I even see someone at the back going nuts for them with a series of bizarre moves. Though then I realise he was just struggling to put on his jumper.


As the anticipation for Girls builds, this is mirrored in the temperature in the Forum. People are rushing to the bar for a pint - not out of wanting to quaff it particularly, but to press said receptacle against the face for some cooling relief. And on come the San Franciscans.

There's something so ordinary about them in many ways, even in their moniker; like Weird Dreams, the name is quite literal - most of the songs of course about, well, girls. But it's in the flawless execution where the beauty lies, to create something extraordinary. Christopher Owen pours out his heart in with a confident yet earnest delivery, his lyrics about love, sex and friendships won and lost - though in an almost wholesome, naive sort of way. Perfect pop.



The audience, full of veneration, respond with like as the evening becomes a heartwarming sing-a-long. Everything becomes heightened, moments feel significant. Epic paeans such as 'Vomit' and 'Hellhole Ratface' sound even more grandiose in a live-setting - drawn out to a bombastic, serotonin-daubed marathon, cutting through emotions like a razor-sharp Owens' couplet. Gospel singers add to this - now, they can sometimes surmount to a superfluous, cheesy addition, but oh no not tonight buddy, here it just fucking works. On the other end, 'Lust For Life' is the life-affirming, stream-of-consciousness breezy pop moment you'd want it to be, possessing a brimming verve and vibrant optimism so great that it makes you want to strip totally naked, skip around the auditorium and bear-hug everyone in the name of grinning empathy. I elect not to do this however.

Though I do spot a chap fighting wildly with a jumper again. Actually, quite a few people seem to be now. But this time it turns out they're not jumper fighting, and are just totally lost in the moment; like everyone present. And for a good fucking reason, as Girls are one of the best live experiences going at the moment.




Kris De Souza: News Editor

Girls are the greatest band in the world, you might not think it, but maybe that's because you haven't seen them live yet. I remember listening to Album back in 2009 for the first time and being blown away. There was no script, no boundaries just a record overflowing with emotions and beautiful music. I appreciated from the off that they might not be to everyone's taste; they are an intricate band, but fast forward three years, an equally beautiful EP and an even better follow up album, and you will arrive at Girls' only UK show of the year. Christopher Owens and Chet White have recruited accomplished band mates and stunning backing vocalists and together they blew the collective minds of a packed out Kentish Town Forum. If it was at all possible to take a sound, a song, a feeling and amplify it, add more layers, more texture to make the whole listening experience more tangible than Girls did that last night. This isn't a fan boy stance. this is just pure fact. Songs like 'Vomit' and 'Hellhole Ratrace' stir every emotion, with the former even bringing a tear to my eye as the crescendo encapsulated me. To contrast that, the intensity of the heavier songs like 'Lust for Life' and 'Honey Bunny' get everyone dancing and swaying. Not even the idiot in front of me who said the band were "just like Arcade Fire" (who subsequently spent the whole set talking to his friend rather loudly while trying to impress a girl) could spoil what was for me was the best gig of the year. I've spent every waking minute since leaving the venue last night just hoping that they announce another date for later in the year, otherwise my next holiday will be to stalk them in San Francisco and force them to play for me.



Oliver Primus: Editor

After their incredible show last year at the Electric Ballroom, I claimed Girls were the 'best band in the world'. It's easy to get caught up in a "moment" and be all hyperbolic, but at the time I genuinely felt that way. Fast forward a year and I'm sat on the train trying to figure out how to describe the night I just had (much like my fan boy review from last year). Essentially we were treated to a greatest hits set from a band that have only released 2 albums and 1 EP. How could it be possible for a band to sound this confident?

The backing singers are on top form again, with their incredible voices filling in the gaps, and at times acting as a sprinkler system of energy to a crowd battling with the desert like conditions in the HMV Forum; ya know, the sort of heat that would normally lead to yawns and tired eyes. During tracks like 'Vomit', 'Alex' and 'Morning Light' we're treated to Girls are their most destructive. On 'Lust For Life' and 'Honey Bunny' we're treated to Girls at their most joyous. In between those moments we're treated to every other emotion you can think of, culminating in a rousing version of 'Carolina' and a sea of flowers.

This was the best gig I've been to since...well...seeing them last year. Oh, and in case you wondered, I still think they're the best band in the world.