After sets from Trudy and Willie J. Healey, Diet Cig’s tour buddies – Leeds-based outfit Bruising – take to the tiny stage of The Old Blue Last, their sweet, spiky blend of pop and punk set the tone for the night. Their latest releases ‘Honey’ and ‘Emo Friends’ see them at their most assured and distinctive, marking them out as ones to watch this year.
You can tell within the first few seconds of a band stepping on stage whether they’ve got it or not, and New York slop pop duo Diet Cig have undoubtedly got whatever ‘it’ is in abundance. This is a band who don’t care about looking cool (although they do) or fitting into the usual pretensions of modern guitar bands; guitarist and vocalist Alex Luciano is just as happy dancing and singing along to Justin Bieber while she sets up before the show as she is thrashing out joyful, heartfelt indie rock. Seemingly unfazed by the pressure of playing their first ever show in the capital, when Diet Cig themselves begin their set with ‘Cardboard’ they instantly inject their own bubbling energy into the very air; even in this classic Shoreditch too-cool-to-dance crowd, pure, infectious joy pervades in every heart.
Alex is a born frontwoman, leaping manically about the stage, climbing equipment, performing impressive high kicks and all the while giving off the impression she’s playing to a roomful of her best friends. Singles ‘Sleep Talk’ and ‘Dinner Date’ naturally receive shouts of delight – the former even hints of a singalong – but more of a surprise is that the announcement of “We’re gonna play a new song!”, a phrase that has sunk the heart of many a chord anthem in the making; as Alex takes her first ever rock n’ roll stage five onto a bed of waving hands it’s not hard to imagine a whole venue screaming back “FUCK YOUR IVY LEAGUE SWEATER” in the near future.