LIVE REVIEW: Dry Cleaning @ The Shacklewell Arms, London.

Dry Cleaning‘s tightly-wound post-punk and poetic lyrical delivery shines on an ecstatic London crowd.

Jammed inside the live room at East London haunt The Shacklewell Arms, Dry Cleaning set up the stage in front of a sold out crowd. They look surprised.

Long time friends Lewis Maynard, Tom Dowse, Florence Shaw and Nick Buxton fire straight into a ferocious yet minimal post-punk racket.

If you had wondered whether Florence Shaw’s patchwork lyricism and softly-spoken delivery would be lost in this environment, you’d be wrong. She stands transfixed staring into the abyss until it’s time for her to deliver that sharp-witted lyricism that Dry Cleaning have already become known for. The bass, drums and guitarwork of Lewis Maynard, Tom Dowse and Nick Buxton is as tight as hell, they work off each other’s energy and build each track into a frenzy of technical, groove-based post-punk/ new wave noise.

Between the warped bass grooves, progressive drumming and lightning-paced angular guitarwork, Florence Shaw finds her moment. Dropping each lyric like a statement, and firing out short bursts and snippets of stories, the crowd hang on her every word, greeting her dry vocal delivery with cheers and at times laughter. Her witty social commentary at the forefront of the band’s appeal.

Each track from recent EP ‘Sweet Princess’ is lapped up by a mixed crowd, older music heads and a younger generation alike. Stand out tune ‘Magic of Meghan’ starts a small unexpected mosh pit, as the knife-edged guitar lines get the better of a previously static mid week crowd.

The band’s support from an alternative-leaning 6music seems to have helped sell out the East London stepping stone venue days in advance. A great sign for guitar music as a whole, and also for Dry Cleaning who may well have left 200 capacity venues behind for good. Ones to watch, I think so.


NEW MUSIC: Margot – ‘Arles’

EP REVIEW: Desire – ‘Extended Play’.

EP REVIEW: Dry Cleaning – ‘Sweet Princess’


By Karl Johnson

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