‘The combination of insane energy and non-stop musicality made it feel like they were on the dance floor with us.’
Having discovered how fantastic DIY Nu-Disco trio Patawawa were at the start of the year, it has come as no surprise that they have had so many successes. New releases, musical team-ups and now a tour – appropriately named ‘Pa-tour-wawa’ – has seen them reach new heights. Also unsurprisingly, their fan base is ever growing. And why shouldn’t it be? All too often we can be filled with concerns, but if you were looking for the perfect soundtrack to dance your troubles away, their gig last Wednesday at The Old Blue Last, Shoreditch provided just that.
With the live room in the upstairs of the pub becoming fuller by the second, the anticipation of Patawawa’s set built to a level that felt more like a Friday night slot than a mid-week one. Making their way through the crowd – after some noticeable mingling, something which not all bands will make time for beforehand – the Matlock based trio reached the stage. Asking us in the most cheeky of ways ‘What does it feel to be out on a school night?’ lead singer Beth made us feel like the party had already started. And soon it would via the cutting opening lyrics of their latest single, ‘Fight Me.’
Lacking any announcement – something that would become a theme of the night – Beth’s vocal burst through the excitable crowd and her moves burst into action. We were off and immediately that buzz had transformed into energy equalled only by that of the trio themselves. Moving like they were trying to out-dance their fans, it felt like they were on the floor with us. The expected Patawawa Party had truly begun and moving onto their second track ‘Lonely‘, the sense of them absolutely loving what they were doing shone through. As did the fact that this was a live gig.
Having previously heard both the tracks to this point, the transference from studio to stage led to seemingly spontaneous changes from the recording. The kind that can only come from a gig. Maybe it was exactly that – spontaneous. Maybe it was all planned. Either way the musicality from Beth’s vocal soaring like never before, Sam’s vocal harmonies and Rory’s increasingly freedom filled Chic style guitar lines proved that we were to be in for one hell of a night.
Encouraging us further to have a great time, the trio asked if we ‘Dare(d) to Disco‘ – even if ‘it wasn’t a Saturday night’ – before following up with a selection of tracks including two – the groove-filled ‘Humpback‘ and the slightly more sultry ‘Song for Sam‘ – from their EP Bedroom released earlier this year. With Beth continually pushing her vocal range and the guys providing a combination of equally infectious instrumental riffs and animalistic dance moves, the night would soon reach even greater levels of high-octane musical energy.
Ensuring there was zero chance of the crowd catching a breath – and Patawawa themselves – the trio treated us to the first of two forthcoming tracks. Immediately filled with the hallmarks we had been experiencing, the booming bass and pumping four-to-the-floor rhythms did their best to control the uncontrollable dance moves as they spread throughout the crowd. How everyone, including the trio maintained the ridiculous energy I’ve no idea. And this was only halfway through!
Seeing just how far they could push us, Patawawa guided us to the second of the two new tracks via their 2015 release ‘Red and White‘ and their appropriately named 2017 release ‘Four to the Floor.’ With both giving us everything we wanted – and lets face it we would have been disappointed if they hadn’t – the mix of full on musicality, crowd-encouraging moves and notable lyricism made it impossible to not join in. The atmosphere had gone where Patawawa had never gone before. It was totally electric and with ‘What You Want‘ encouraging us to ‘open the champagne’ the drinks continued to flow like a Friday. But the trio were far from done.
Signalling the arrival of the second new track, the instantly dance-inducing sound of ‘Never Been Better’ hit all the right notes. Amazingly – although you couldn’t tell at the time – Sam told us all after that it was the first performance of the track! Given the reaction and the fact we could grab hold of the title lyrics and shout them at full force, there’s no doubt they should head to the studio and get it down immediately! Creating the atmosphere it did, it would have made for a superb finish. But it wasn’t the end.
Making the most of the crowds enthusiasm, ‘Diversion‘ saw the whole room fall to their knees – and with instruction from the trio – leap up with mosh-pit style exuberance at the perfect moment. With everyone fit to burst, it’s no wonder they chose to give us a bonus track in the shape of Patagonia. Whatever you do, if you get an invite to one of Patawawa’s parties, don’t turn it down.
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Listen to Patawawa on: Spotify
Find out more about Patawawa and their music at: Track Review: Patawawa: Fight Me, EP Review: Patawawa: Bedroom and Behind the Music: Interview with Patawawa