Walking up the stairs for a concert at King Tut’s is a literal trip up memory lane as the tiny venue forces you to confront its spectacular history before you make it to the show you’re there to see. On this occasion we are being gluttonously treated to four bands: Bubbatrees, All The Franklins, Vagabonds and our headliner for the evening: Acrylic.
It’s a particularly special night for the swooning alt-rockers, who are here to launch their brand new EP All I Am (read our review). It’s a release that the band themselves are incredibly proud of, as lead singer Andreas Christodoulidis stated recently in an interview with The Sun that the band’s earlier releases “now seem quite immature and unconsidered”. In the live environment, their confident, shoegaze-esque stage presence & toned down aesthetic allow the music to do most of the talking – immature or not. This is them, this is their sound – take it or leave it. It’s an admirably self-assured performance for a band playing their biggest headlining show to date.
As the music swirls and the vocals follow (Where I Lie being a beautiful example), the only pitfall that Acrylic truly run the risk of is their songs bleeding together into a non-distinct series of musical movements. Then again, maybe that’s the point: high art alt-rock.
As an occasion, Acrylic can look back at their sold-out show as one to build on. All the major foundations are there, but some small gaps remain. The varied choice of support acts, for example, is an eccentric piece of misguided over-confidence. Vagabonds (on stage immediately prior to the headliners) offer up an energetic and poppy performance that is completely at odds with the mood Acrylic are going for and almost overshadows the launch event itself. For Acrylic, sage advice would be to keep the music and talent, but improve the stage use and audience interaction. Tonight might not find itself added to King Tut’s stairway of glory, but it’s not unreasonable to think that we’ve witnessed the start of something that will.