This Leeds-born Cambridge-shaped four-piece took their time before releasing their debut, An Awesome Wave, in 2012 – five years since forming to be exact.
This attention to detail though paid off in spades as the boys picked up last year’s Mercury Prize and have seen their popularity soar exponentially since.
After relocating from Yorkshire, post-uni, to Cambridge, they recorded their debut in Brixton, south London, and unleashed it in April 2012.
The work enjoyed a slow-burn rise from being the cult album everyone was talking about to being the bookies’ fave for November’s annual gong for the UK’s best album.
Taking a highly creative and individual approach (as their name suggests), An Awesome Wave fuses the likes of indie, folk, electronica, trip-hop beats and synths into a literate, reference-drenched melting-pot that is individual enough to surprise, yet charmingly accessible and, most importantly, catchy enough, to win over the mainstream, too.
It has been for this reason that their debut not only picked up the Mercury award but was named as BBC 6 Music’s album of 2012. An atmospheric proposition on the stereo, in the live arena they filter this sound into a multi-layered, mood-drenched affair that is hypnotic and addictive.
If 2012 was a big year for them, then 2013 looks to be even bigger.
After these two nights in London, they have a stack more shows to come, including the Laneways tour Down Under, followed by a US trek and a UK headline tour in May to boot. Symbol-ic, literate, smart and unassailably cool, check them out.
O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, W12 8TT
Fri, Jan 18 & Sat Jan 19 | Doors at 7pm | £40+
Tube |Shepherd’s Bush
Gig: Blood Red Shoes + Rolo Tomassi
Eva Spence and her band of genre-defying screamos Rolo Tomassi are supporting on this re-scheduled date for headlining Brighton duo BRS.
Laura-Mary Carter (pictured) and Steven Ansell’s last album, In Time To Voices, was a grander, more expansive affair, and is a fitting LP for them to take to the larger theatres they’re now playing.
Tues, Jan 22. 7pm £15.18
O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire W12 8TT
Tube | Shepherd’s Bush
The Nineties indie-dream poppers took a seven-year hiatus at the start of the Noughties, but returned in 2009, then released their fourth LP, Anatomy, in 2011.
They play this one-off, extremely intimate and low-key show which, based on their other planned activity (very little), could be their last for a while.
Fri Jan 18. 7.30pm £14
St Pancras Old Church 191 Pancras Way, NW1 1UL
Tube | King’s Cross
Gig: Dropkick Murphys + Crowns
Cornish folk-punksters Crowns will be warming up the crowd for this headline set by the legendary Boston-Oirish punks who are in town for this duo of dates in support of their latest, and eighth album, Signed And Sealed In Blood, which was out on these shores only last week. Get learning the songs quick.
Fri Jan 18 & sat, jan 19. 7.30pm £21
The Forum 9-17 Highgate Road, NW5 1JY
Tube | Kentish Town
Club: Soul of the 60s
This hip-shaking night in honour of all things Sixties is now in its fifth year playing the finest sounds from the hippest decade.
Motown classics sit next to soul cuts, as well as a host of rhythm and blues, rock ‘n’ roll and more – so expect anything and everything from The Temptations to James Brown. Get your funk on!
Fri Jan 18. 9pm-2am £5
The Phoenix 37 Cavendish Square, W1G 0PP
Tube | Oxford Circus
Club: Superheroes vs Villains Party
The Vibes crew straddles a fine line here between serious musical integrity and absurdist party times, with this superheroes and villians themed fancy dress party.
So don your gear as your fave spandex-clad hero, and get down to the best drum ‘n’ bass sounds courtesy of Nanci & Phoebe, Lena Cullen, Serial Killaz and more.
Fri Jan 18. 10pm-6am £7+
Jamm 261 Brixton Road, SW9 6LH
Tube | Brixton
Club: La dolce vita opening
A wealth of Italian electronic music talent lines up for this specially themed party. Tenax label head Alex Neri leads the Azzurri charge, with Marco Faraone (above), Julie Marghilano, Neverdogs, Massimo Di Lena b2b Joseph Russell and more.
And you thought Italy was all about diving footballers and too much pasta!
Sat Jan 19. 10pm-11am £10+
Egg 200 York Way, N7 9AX
Tube | King’s Cross