I guess it goes without saying that the people from Fierce Panda know their music. For Fierce Panda’s 15th birthday party at Scala, a well thought out line-up was put on show, each complimenting each other while also individually bringing their own influences to the fray. First on the bill, The Molotov’s, who draw comparisons with Vampire Weekend, albeit with a definite punk/ska tinge to their music. Rather than use more traditional Afro-Caribbean music as Vampire Weekend has, The Molotov’s have opted for the more anglicised aspect of the genre. Next on, Hatcham Social, brought to mind Japanese Whispers-era The Cure mixed with the jangly guitars of Jonny Marr. Hatcham Social has developed a loyal following in the London indie gig scene. There seemed to be just as many people here to see Hatcham Social as The Walkmen… just. The Walkmen have been accused of overreaching on their previous releases and their live shows, of trying too hard, a stigma that they’ve dismissed with the languid and comfortable sound of ‘You & Me’. The overarching feeling that is drawn from the latest release is that it seems the band have grown comfortable with their song writing skills and each others capabilities. Although, paradoxically, it’s in the execution of tracks such as ‘In The New Year’ and that lead singer Walter Martin appears to most strain himself. As the night wears on, and a smattering of songs play from The Walkmen’s older albums (‘Rat, The’ from the ‘Bows + Arrows’ album, draws a particularly strong cheer from the crowd), it quickly becomes apparent which songs belong to ‘You & Me’, and why it is their seminal album to date. The fact that this gig was not sold out until the night itself follows suit with the reputation that the Walkmen have of travelling just under mainstream radar, they remain uncompromising in their song writing but also confident of putting on a show. If the album, and this night is anything to go by, next time around, they’ll do better than a 1-night London tour. You can check The Walkmen out by clicking here!