Definitely not trash
The open air daylight may not have been in their favour but everything else was set up perfectly for The Whip. They may not be widely known yet but their brand of commercial electro-pop is perfect for a wide audience who wants to have fun. With each song the crowd in front of the stage grew a fair bit and by the set's climax, the roar that followed the band walking off stage was huge and well deserved.
‘Sister Siam’ was the perfect opening track with the “You go your way and I’ll go mine” line echoing around the venue and sparking the crowd into frenzy. Okay, it looked to be a fairly young audience for The Whip but they’ve got loads of disposable income so it’s no bad thing for the band to be reeling them in early. And there is a lot to like about The Whip.
Each song is powered on by the force of the drumming and this was a constant source of discussion after the band's set. For a dance band there must be a strong temptation to utilize loops and processed beats to drive their tracks on but the live and forceful drumming makes a difference to the band's sound. The three guys up the front get most of the crowd clapping and smiling but its Lil Fee at the back who gets them moving their feet.
R13 have caught The Whip on numerous occasions in recent years and this show definitely ranks up there near the best of their performances. A lot of this was due to the energy of the crowd but there is a strong argument to be made for the band benefiting from a shorter set. Back in March, the band played at King Tuts in Glasgow and with the album just released, there was a pressure to play a full length show and it just didn’t work. The fact that this show omitted ‘Frustration’ and still managed to be a brilliant thirty minutes indicates this band has got quality material up their sleeve. The trick for The Whip is how to use it in a longer set without losing the momentum they build at times.
Set closer ‘Trash’ is a straightforward heads down and dance type track with lyrics that don’t mean much and a bass line that loops and loops. As you can imagine, ‘Trash’ was excellent and it was a worthy closer to a finely judged set. With a full UK tour in November, the bar has been set again for The Whip to live up to the promise they have shown in glimpses over the past few years. For everyone’s sake, lets hope they get it right this time.