Photos by Tim Boddy

It isn’t exactly news that The Lexington in Angel is now established on the music scene as one of London’s hottest venues but it’s reaffirmed when the likes of ATP the well know promoters of that festival at Butlins and many other large shows around London select it as their venue of choice for an evening. In this instance to showcase Porcelain Raft.

I arrived early to catch London support act I Ching performing their brand of synth pop songs. At first glance their appearance was fairly over powering to a hipster sceptic like me. Their sulky on stage presence, vintage shirts, skinny jeans and scruffy baseball caps led me to make quick judgements. Although their music did surpass those initial reactions the reception from the crowd was pretty underwhelming.

Their biggest weapon was their hi/low dual vocals that sat nicely over poppy synth lines; krautrock beats and heavily effected guitars. Even though it sounded quite good my main issue with these guys tonight (and why I don’t think their reception was great) was that they really didn’t look like they were enjoying themselves. In fact the main singer kind of looked like he might cry at any time which all seemed just a little too emotional for that type of music.

Porcelain Raft @ The Lexington 26/03/12

After that and a cheeky beer to perk me up I was looking forward to watching Porcelain Raft the home studio odyssey of Mauro Remiddi an Italian musician formerly of the band Sunny Day Sets Fire. He was here tonight to promote his well received debut album of dreamy synth pop songs called Strange Weekend, released earlier this year.

Rather than being a solely electronic performance as I’d expected he came out on stage with a drummer/percussionist who looked like he might have stepped straight off the set of Dawson's Creek. Youthful, clean cut, chiselled jawed and very American looking (edit. the drummer is Mike Wallace from Women - and is Canadian). Importantly he really helped beef up the backbone of the tracks throughout their set with real solid beats (he looked like he might burst a blood vessel he was drumming so hard) and using an array of percussion from bells and tambourines to castanets. That was all a major plus as it added a great visual element to the performance.

Remiddi, in contrast to his drummer is slightly older at 37 and has a George Michael esque air to him. Tonight he was full of energy, smiles and gratitude towards his crowd of fans who received his music with enthusiasm. His voice wasn’t always spot on but no one seemed to really care as it was a very minor fault in an otherwise decent and fun filled set. The highlight of the evening was Remiddi bouncing back on stage to perform his current single. ‘Unless You Speak From The Heart’ as an encore.

Overall a good gig, perhaps a slightly unusual one for an ATP show but then they’ve never been one to do exactly what’s expected of them all the time and that’s definitely a big part of their charm.

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