Alvvays seem to be a band on the crest of a wave which has been building for a little while now, and doesn't seem to be slowing down. This started in 2014 with the break out single ‘Archie, Marry Me’, and mostly on the back of that song and the strength of others from their self-titled debut, they’ve been gaining more notoriety over the last few years as they toured and recorded their second album, Antisocialites. This gig at Koko happened to fall on exactly the day of release of the Toronto band’s sophomore effort, but in fact sold out way in advance of it, with people on the Facebook event desperate to find spare tickets. This is before they’ve even heard any of the second album, save for maybe one or two pre-released singles, but such is the feeling of love and positivity around the young indie-poppers that they have built up a dedicated fanbase who are certain that they are going to see a good show when Alvvays come to town.

This hard core was definitely seen at the front of the crowd at Koko on Friday night; dancing and pogoing along to the songs, indiscriminate of new or old. And the beginning of the set focused heavily on Antisocialites, as you would expect. They opened with ‘Saved By A Waif’, not one of the strongest tracks from the album, but that turned out to be a blessing, as sound issues marred the clarity of the band’s pristine guitar pop. Fortunately this was sorted out within the first two songs, and they then zipped through the likes of ‘In Undertow’, which got a big crowd reaction, and ‘Plimsoll Punks’, which truly started the burner under the feet of the audience members. The respite came in the form of ‘Forget About Life’, where singer Molly Rankin sans guitar floated her simple desires out into the venue, and even if the majority may not have heard the song before, they would instantly have connected with its emotion. Throughout the set the quintet showed off a polished and assured sound, which accentuated the hazy textures underlying the overt pop craft in their songs.

The band didn’t do much talking, but they were beaming throughout, which communicated enough. This was all the more obvious when it came time to work back to some of their songs from Alvvays, particularly ‘Archie, Marry Me’, where the crowd’s singing along seemed to nearly bring the history venue crumbling down. While many bands would save this for the grand finale, Alvvays felt confident enough in ‘Party Police’ to close out the main set, and rightfully so, as the momentum from ‘Archie’ carried through to this dreamy pop confectionary.

The band returned for a much deserved encore, where they played the slow-building ‘Dives’ and a cover of Scottish rockers The Motorcycle Band’s ‘Trying To Be Kind’. The real encore, however, will be the next time Alvvays return to London, probably playing to an even bigger crowd and the new songs will be just as beloved as those already cherished.