Gig Review: Hairy presents: Cosydrive // Show Boy // 60s Space Engine

by Abbie Steer

FTS went along to the latest gig presented by Hairy Recording’s who invited us to ‘witness the emergence of your new messiah’. 

Entering Hackney’s Paper Dress Vintage was like waking up in Agent Dale Cooper’s nightmare of The Red Room - with its draping red curtains and black and white floors - but as the venue for Hairy Recording’s most recent gig it was a dream. Against this Twin Peaks-esque backdrop, the first act Svetlana Smith took centre stage. Cynical and sexy, sweet but deadly, this newly formed duo combines eerie synth-pop with bitter lyrics of heartbreak and disdain. Lead vocalist Anice charms the audience with a voice as silky and slinking as her dancing, laughing to the audience as she sings, as though she is taunting the mystery man that is the cause of her anger and willing us to join in with her.

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It was impossible not to space out to the next band, 60s Space Engine, as they created a dreamy, psychedelic soundscape. With a growling guitar accompanying groovy beats and drawling vocals, I felt like I was spinning out into space, going absolutely nowhere but being perfectly content with it.  Basking in hazy reverb, they offer an unpolished, honest side to otherwise clear-cut electronic instrumentation. By the end I really was convinced that these guys had travelled here in their 60s Space Engine to send waves of dizzying sound into our brains.

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Show Boy really stole the show and had the crowd moving more than anyone with their insanely catchy dance-pop beats. Imagine Ariel Pink, George Michael, Prince and Justin Timberlake coming together to form the ultimate boy band, complete with glitter, glam and electrifying falsetto bridges and you have Show Boy. They’re like what The 1975 have been aiming for all along. The perfect amalgamation of noughties pop and 80s synth, they combine bubblegum-pop power ballads with tongue in cheek lyrics about lusty fantasies of Channing Tatum in Magic Mike XXL. It was so refreshing to see a totally good band that still didn’t take themselves overly seriously. Androgynous and mesmerising, with dazzling onstage theatrics that had the crowd hypnotised, Show Boy really are a band to watch out for.

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With pop songs of love turned twisted and sleazy, two-piece Cosydrive offers a hellishly good end to the night. While jarring and anxiety inducing, it was hard to turn away from their warped, futuristic pop and with an unforgettable stage presence this band were definitely memorable. The heavy voice modulation at the same time emphasised and distorted the sardonic, passionate lyrics that were shouted into the audience. This perfectly crafted wreck was almost like watching a ketamine fuelled breakdown on stage but the songs never failed to get people dancing and revelling in the bands unashamedly obnoxious performance.

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Kabyashree Saikia