Gig: Lecarla, supporting Evarose
Venue: The Craufurd Arms, Wolverton, MK.
Words: Phil W.
It was cold and dark in the back room of the Craufurd Arms but it was impossible to repress a thrill of excitement in seeing the stage set up and ready for a local band I was genuinely excited to see. Looking at the stage bathed in purple lights, I couldn’t help thinking it had been too long since I’d seen a gig in here. For the first half hour DJ Michael Andrews and myself had hidden with the locals in the main bar but stepping into the backroom immediately took me back into the magical world of gig-land. For all the hundreds of acoustic open mic nights, there’s still something special about basses and drums, and smoke machines, and the smell of burning amplifiers, and the bright lights, and the pitch dark auditoriums.
Matthew and I discovered home-grown Milton Keynes band Lecarla back in April when we reviewed them for Dudebox Track Of The Season with “Where Do We Go?” and then again in September with "DILLIGAF". Both tracks are tight, well-written slices of metallic pop rock with an awesome guitar sound and strong female vocals while "DILLIGAF" comes with an impressive music video. In fact when we first discovered them, the band seemed too good to be true; still unsigned, they already seem like the complete package. Their well-produced, polished songs already sound like singles, they have professional-looking music videos and they already sell a range of t-shirts branded Lecarla Armour. Besides the MySpace and Facebook, their own slick website boasts past tours with the likes of The Blackout and We Are The Ocean. According to their MySpace, the band even have clothing sponsors. It seemed high time I made an effort on behalf of the Dudebox to check them out live.
Two things are immediately apparent when Lecarla start to play: firstly every member of the band is stunningly musically proficient, and secondly they are very, very loud. Their sound is truly awesome, landing somewhere between pop rock and metal. In fact the Deftones is just as much a comparison as Paramore. The duel guitar sound is huge, the massive guitar distortion punctured by softer moments of refrained melody. Lead singer Lizzy Dent's vocals are strong and melodic while drummer Steve North adds just a little screaming while he pummels the drums, driving the songs forward with a impressive barrage of beats. All five members of Lecarla seem at ease and enjoying themselves on stage, the guitarist and bassist pulling out every rock n roll pose and grinning the whole while. This is a band that already looks and sounds like they are ready for a bigger stage, they are tight and cohesive and confident. But in the end it’s the songs that really shine; interesting, hook-laden and original. "DILLIGAF" already sounds like a radio hit while all the other songs stand out well in the set. If you’re looking for the next big thing in music to come out of Milton Keynes, Lecarla might very well be the place to start.
So DJ Michael Andrews and myself headed back to the bar and accidently missed most of the set from Oxford-based all female four piece Evarose which was a shame because what we caught we really liked - but this evening was really all about catching Milton Keynes’s very own Lecarla live and it was well worth it.