I first saw Lois & the Love at Club NME in KOKO last summer, after a timing mix-up resulted in having to eke out an hour’s small-talk with an unknown German student – whilst so-called friends partied elsewhere.
In the worst mood ever, when my mates finally showed up, they persuaded me to stay for one song; and after all that schwachsinn I needed to hear something. But I wasn’t prepared for Lois’ vocals, which put an instant smile on my face.
Mix the sleazy blues of Janis Joplin, the flair of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the ska-tinged crunch of Red Hot Chilli Peppers (pre-Californication), and you’ve got something approaching the ravaged glory of Lois & the Love. Formed two years ago by childhood mates Lois Winstone and Dean Sharp, the pair assembled a crack band of Eddie Banda on drums, Paul Noble playing guitar (beneath a huge trapper hat), and Oli Longmore supplying the big bass grooves that drives their tunes at a pace most new bands can’t keep up with.
Signed to Normal Management, the aim is to release their debut EP ‘War’ soon and record their first album. Spotted and supported by the Strummerville Foundation, they’ll play at its Festival in August, but Camden and Shoreditch is the natural habitat, with solid local connections bringing in both tribes to gigs at Proud, the Macbeth, Lock Tavern, and a headline slot at Barfly tonight.
Lois gives fearless swagger on stage, while the boys provide the raw rock ‘n’ roll that gets everyone’s goosebumps up and good-time setting turned to the proverbial 11. The dark days when the likes of Keane ‘rocked’ Camden are well and truly over.*
Words: Tim Sowula
*Mrs Kentishtowner has fainted.