Massmatiks//Dance A La Plage//Don The Cardigan//Bare Jams.

The first gig of 2014 has, naturally, occurred at The Boileroom – remaining the finest for music and noodles in the land – and involved much of seeing ACM’s finest outputs in the form of the aforementioned musical types storm the cavernous overflowing place on a Friday night, all for free.

First up were Bare Jams, they were the only outfit I’d yet to check out and acted as a finely portrayed contrast to the raining – and quite frankly freezing – black outside, bringing high levels of summer vibes to the stage. Naturally, the name was apt, with the stage brimming with people, from bongos to saxes and guitars to trumpets, the festival air was further established and they thundered through catchy indie types sounding not too far from an acoustic and optimistic hybrid of Little Comets and Two Door Cinema Club, enough to considerably warm everyone up indeed.

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Next up were Don The Cardigan, the band who I’d originally come to see – not that the others were not entirely worth it and then some – but this lot are also truly very good and appear to have gone noticably unmentioned by myself on here before. Their sound is a merge of the alternative pop rock type that onstage is mostly thunderous, bar the more laidback infectiously catchy ones (see Maps Of My Heart, stuck in my head all week), and entirely impressive; stealing the night with intense polished melodies and intricate guitars was a mission they pulled off effortlessly. Their new single, Youth/Anatomy, has recently come out and I highly recommend you check it out, along with their past stuff, here.

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Penultimately on the bill were Dance A La Plage, a band I’d finally caught at Redfest last summer and one that are more than capable of bringing brilliant tracks and summery vibes to almost any ocassion, especially a packed out room on a cold January evening. The quartet thundered through tracks from their EP’s and from the back of the room it was apparent once again, everyone was dancing and lapping it up. Their newer stuff is still retaining the sparkling guitar riffs and endlessly catchy melodies they excel at in fine style and with a ton of great things assigned to their name already, I fear these could be ones to watch this year, it’s about time people started catching on.

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Finally, bringing the night to a close in an heavier directed eruption of noise were Massmatiks.

Since the release of their single Independence (A Lack Of) late last year – name your price on their bandcamp, catching them live has seemed the only right choice to make and keeping in line with the aforementioned supports, they didn’t disappoint either. Cementing the loud sounds of those like Biffy Clyro, Enter Shikari and Frank Turner into a merge of fueled guitar hooks and catchy chant-worthy vocals, their tracks came alive and brought the house down a peg or two. Check them out here.

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I took a few shots, albeit with a slightly broken camera, that are up here.

– In unrelated news, in the past week I’ve booked to see Telegram + Childhood + Object Object, Drowners, Franz Ferdinand & Trans all in the space of the past week, so gig reviews are incoming, as with a hell of a lot of new albums, up sooner than you think –

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