Borrowing its name from the Memorable Order of Tin Hats – the Moth Club, a no frills function room at the back of an ex-serviceman’s pub, served a double entendre for the men and women awaiting the debut of Lola Colt’s sophomore album.
Laden in glitter gold, the ceiling dazzled parallel to a black and red chequered carpet ringed by 50’s-diner booths, a style matched with the retro regulars sat at the front of the pub. The stage, rising just a short distance from the humble dance floor below was integrally intimate, posing no bounds between the band and fans; it too was glitter gold and despite revamp, a wanton spectacle of commemorative plaques aligned the sepia-stained walls, so that in all its spangled glory there is still an essence of the clubs’ original feel.
Served from a mini-bar not too dissimilar from the one featured in Peter Kay’s ‘Phoenix Nights’, Hackney Pale Ale pours handsomely into fabricated pint glasses as anticipative fans prepare for the opening act.
Seen mingling amongst the crowd prior to their set, Aussie five-piece Bonfire Nights cast the evening alight with a cacophonous smoking menace. Characterised by piercing guitars, layered drones and pulsing psychedelic grooves the band penetrated a wall of sound that revelled in a oddly satisfying pop savvy. Through melodic hooks, girl-boy harmonies and onstage charisma, Bonfire Nights were a fun and refreshing band to watch. The rhythm guitarist and drummer were particularly compelling, while the latter of the two engaged with the crowd by means of football scores “because that’s what the British like?”, the guitarist chose not to use words and rather an array of pantomime-like hand movements to captivate the Hackney throng. After crowning their set, the well-received Bonfire Nights made their way (with dignified urgency) to the front of the pub for a spot across from the football, while the headliners took their place.
The London sextet swamped the small Moth Club stage. Thwarted with their enormous collection of instruments, Lola Colt appeared beset themselves at first glance – and then a maudlin sound erupts through the stage, cast through a sea of twelve string guitars, synthesisers and percussion trinkets; the band cut through their debut album.
Recalling a loose-fitting psychedelia and husky blues, Lola Colt inject a trajectory of interest within guitar music. Edging between intimidation and utter euphoria, it would be a slight generalisation to suggest that their music is just simply haunting. Their songs move with such serpentine fluidity, morphing between climax and breakdown, and without chorus structure, they led the Hackney crowd into rapture.
Suited to the Moth Clubs’ aesthetic, and to lead Gun Overbyes’ glitter gold Jaguar (though at this point she had strapped herself to a bass drum) the six-piece opened with “Gold”. Performed with swaggering confrontation, Gun banged her drum in an unholy duress while howling what sounded like an apocalyptic version of “All Tomorrow’s Parties”.
Each member sparked individuality and control onstage. Bassist Sinah, whose androgynous attire made her look like she had just stepped out of a Robert Palmer video, carried a dense velocity when locking rhythms with drummer Martin. Together, they created a tribal infused film noir.
Positioned either side of Gun, guitarists Matt and James propelled a dramatic energy into their playing style. While Matt’s no reservation, body writhing made for an intriguing watch, James’ chameleonic approach to the instruments confounded the audience as he switched between six-string and twelve-string guitars, and tom drum.
Left of stage, jerking to the brooding, hypnotic grooves she created with her intensifying keyboard playing and tambourine shaking, Kitty moved with seductive allure. Front-woman Gun, by contrast, had a formidable onstage presence; summoning the crowd with her sonorous vocals, she kept her eye’s locked to the back wall of the venue while she moved with Stevie Nicks witchery. A stand out was her acrimonious yelling of “Moonlight Mixing” , as it only exaggerated her movie show of stylish noir violence.
Like all good things, the show came to an end and Lola Colt performed their second album with a boundless, tantalising cacophony of unfettered sexual energy.
This Lola Colt article was written by Chelsea Fearnley, a GIGsoup contributor. Photo from the bands official Facebook page