5th October | Exchange

It’s been a long time since I’ve been treated with such an incredible line-up: all bands which I’m itching to see and have finally got the chance to enjoy. This was my equivalent of a full house in bingo, minus the cash prize of course. The night saw the first leg of Tungz’s tour in celebration of their EP launch. They’ve had a history of baking delicious treats and handing them out at previous gigs. Let us reminisce back to their single launch at The Canteen, where I was one of the lucky few that got my hands on a (homemade by guitarist Jamie!) neon blue donut, which was handed to me from a guitar case. I expected the same treatment tonight.

Imagine it’s still summertime – the freshly cut grass tingles your nose and the sickly smell of suncream is unavoidable. The sound of Tamasene paints a backdrop to similar scenes. A coalescence of exhilarating folk and a tinge of psychedelic soul made for a stimulating and picturesque sound. A new project fronted by Elliot Ellison of Cousin Kula, Tamasene soothed us with calypso-tinged melodies and visceral lyrics such as “It’ll be just fine/ by sunrise”. They were a stripped-back affair with solely Ellison and Will Wells (also from Cousin Kula) on synths and keys, often smiling at one another throughout the set and providing charismatic anecdotes. I can only look forward to see how Tamasene will blossom in the future.

Donned in trademark red and white, Joe Probert and his band were next on the bill. Joe Probert and I are like passing ships. I managed to catch him drumming with Some Bodies at FarmFest and I just missed out on him supporting Tungz last year. It had finally come full circle and I was front row and ready. A collection of funky tunes and a touch of catchy indie-pop made for a dynamic set. At one point, my boyfriend and I exchanged looks and laughed at how ridiculous Joe’s drum fills were; take this as a good sign. Warm vocal runs and danceable bass lines also contributed to the funky affair.

A chorus of “We want Tungz!” erupted through the crowd, and the funky, fresh foursome bounced up the stairs to the stage. A rumble of swirling synths fired up, followed by the crashing intro for ‘Do You Like It’. There was plenty of camaraderie and it’s undeniable that they possess an allure of boyish charm. It felt as though I was watching a pantomime in which Tungz played themselves. Hopefully the Hippodrome will pick them up for their next Christmas run.

“You might recognize this outfit. I wore 70% in the video,” Jamie announced before ditching his guitar and crooned a rendition of ‘My Baby Can Stand Being Alone’, a dramatic yet hilarious ballad that was delivered with gut-wrenching drama. Tungz can’t seem to let the 70s go; their rich synths and disco-fuelled songs were infectious and truly got the crowd rowdy. Nicky was seen cutting shapes on stage throughout the night whilst the crowd tried to rival him. They teased us with new material, as well as performing their debut EP in full.

Naturally we all demanded one more song, to which they said they had no more. Ahem – you could’ve dusted off ‘Locked In Your Love’. I demand a performance of this song SOON. Tungz ended with a woozy rendition of Talking Heads’ ‘This Must Be The Place’, followed by a guitar case of homemade cookies on the way out.

See the video for ‘My Baby Can Stand Being Alone’ here: