Juice FM New Music Showcase: The Special K’s, Curxes and Angels & Sailors

More often than not, new bands fall into two camps: drowning in their own influences or fighting for the last gasp of air between hundreds of bands that look and sound the same. Unfortunately both of these instances were on display at Juice FM’s new music night, but there was one band, the ever amazing Curxes, who stuck out like a sore thumb, or more appropriately, a robotic arm clicking away to the Pet Shop Boys.

First up was Angels & Sailors. Although talented musicians and being fronted by an impressive singer in Kendal Sant, the songs were too indebted to the classic rock era and a bit like watching another pub band that you’ve witnessed countless times but probably won’t remember. This was all the more heightened by clich√© lyrics such as ‘I’m gonna love you, rock ‘n’ roll‘ or cheesy acoustic jams asking us to all ‘hold on‘. I was trying to, desperately.

Headlining the proceedings were The Special K’s with their not so unique brand of pop. If the music could speak, I would imagine it would asked to be fucked mercilessly by the Radio 1 playlist…but that’s just a guess. A sizeable crowd gathered and danced to their catchy hooks but underneath that, there wasn’t any sign of something more sustaining or a greater depth to explore, which gets a little boring.

So it was a blessing that Curxes, with depth, originality and style a-plenty broke up the proceedings. Heavily influenced by 80s electro/synth, their approach to their songs and live performances hint at something more than your average band and a drive to move beyond their influences.¬† They’re also the best industrial/pop duo you’ll see this side of Berlin.

Despite relying on backing tracks to fill their sound, the band were surprisingly dynamic, with Macaulay swapping between bass, guitar and synth whilst singer Roberta was either on synth or dancing as her powerful vocals echoed around the room. Songs like ‘Once Upon A Time’ and ‘Creatures’, constructed by layers of abrasive but equally accessible sounds, were like tidal waves crashing into you. There were projections too, designed by the band, displaying yet another gun to their arsenal. A few more songs and a little more interaction with the audience would have given the performance greater connectivity but overall it was a very promising preview of things to come.