On paper, Kurran and the Wolfnotes tick all the boxes to become darlings of the current ‘alt folk’ craze. They create bittersweet songs with angelic melodies and ‘cool’ producers are lending a hand (Stephen Street recorded their last EP). They also have a name with an ‘and’ in the middle (a la Mumford and Sons, Noah and the Whale et al) and have a singer with cracking facial hair. Okay, the last two points are a little tenuous, but with the band having now settled in London from the States, they have the potential to fill the void between Dylan and Dalston. However, all is not as it seems at their gig for White Heat. The support band, Sweden’s Sad Day for Puppets, sound like the love child of My Bloody Valentine and Saint Etienne. And what’s this? Is Kurran and his band walking onto stage with Bruce Springsteen telecasters and Fender Jagstangs (designed by Mr Cobain, no less)? What in the name of Fairport Convention is going on? This is how the band roll live. They play the gig as a classic four-piece (drums, rhythm, bass, lead) - and it makes for a refreshing listen. They are brash, loud and tighter than other bands who consider rock their day job. The beautiful harmonies remain (stand out tracks ‘What A Bitch’ and ‘Your Four Limbs’ tear at the heartstrings) but the set is charged with an energy that few would have predicted from their EPs. The acoustic tinged tunes are missed at times. The promise of a ‘ballad’ mid-set ends up being another stomper rather than a moment of reflection, but a cover of Kelis’s ‘Millionaire’ shows that the band have some crafty tricks up their sleeves. With an album on the way, it will be interesting to see sonically which direction the band go. Kurran himself admitted that they “don’t normally do club nights”, so maybe this dabbling with a harder edge is an experiment? We sincerely hope not.