Gig Review... Coasts @ Camden Barfly, London, 1st April 2014

Camden Barfly is one of those venues bands look back on and say, ‘remember when we played there’. Well, after tonight, Coasts may well have just earned themselves the right to utter those words too.

For those of you thinking ‘Coasts’ sound like another one of those average indie band names that will get lost under the pile in next to no time, I’d like to stop you there. The proud words, ‘this is our first sold out London show’, spouted by frontman Chris Caines show just how much the band have grown over the past year. Another example is the crowd they’ve gathered tonight. Whilst not the liveliest crowd any band could wish for, they certainly made up for it by belting every known lyric to the short, but sweet set the band provided. It seems that a capacity of around just 200 people has brought together fans of all ages leading me to question whose Coasts’ target fan group actually are, when I realise, it’s pretty much everyone! The 80s synth beats mean the forty-somethings in the crowd don’t have to shy away from the small, sweaty teens who are inheriting the kind of beats they listened to thirty years before them.

The boys from Bristol open emphatically with, ‘Wallow’ a clattering, anthemic experience which saw lead singer Chris twist and turn in between his band mates bellowing lyrics, ‘wallow in the middle, wallow in the mire, wallow in the fields where your feet are on fire’. It’s their biggest song and one of the biggest openings to shake Barfly’s walls. ‘Your Soul’ and ‘Stay’ also bring familiar rings to fans ears as they now begin to have a bit of a dance to the jubilant vibes. There’s a good feeling in the air alright. The band, who have been writing their debut album, also give the crowd a taste of what to expect in the months to come, with a new track, ‘Let Go’, a heavy, tropical seaside kind of synthesized tune which has the sound to become a fan favourite soon. Next up is ‘Don’t Let The Light Go Out’ which is a more gentle song, relying on the soothing twang of the guitar and shimmering symbols. ‘Golden City’ is another fans can expect to hear on the new album and it brings with it a wavering and intense build up before bursting wide open. 

The main purpose of the show is to release the band’s latest single, ‘Rush of Blood’ and they don’t shy away from it at all. There’s elements of Two Door Cinema Club adorned in tropical electronic piano beats and you can imagine Coasts filling out a packed festival tent there and then. Soon enough band members and crowd members are bouncing in unison and if this song’s anything to go by, the album will be a good’un, reinforced by the man who worked on Two Door’s debut album, Eliot James, producing the record. All night a group of lads next to me had been shouting the beginning of the lyrics to the band’s most well known song, ‘Oceans’, and forty-five minutes in their dreams come true. Sadly though it was the last song, but Coasts go out with an even bigger bang than they did when they entered, and now even the elder members of the audience are having a little jump about. 

A fifty minute setlist may not be that impressive, but with an album just around the corner and a load of festivals ready to play in the summer, it wouldn’t surprise me if we see Coasts swap the intimate shows for much bigger stages soon.

Written by Josh Shreeve (@JJShreeve)