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Live Music Review Good EvEns

MIK SABIERS casts an appreciative ear towards the multiple musical influences behind shouty yet subtle troubadour

Stephen EvEns
The Lexington, London

 

WONKY indie tunes with a quirky post-punk Britpop edge, Stephen EvEns brings a whole host of sounds to the stage as he launches his third album — Here Come The Lights — live at London’s Lexington.

Set opener Jon Snow, from the previous album, gets a groove going as the Bowie-like track sees odd keys and confessional commentary combine. Next up is Dustbin Man, which outlines and celebrates what a wonderful job public servants do, and the fact that they should be paid so much more. 

The band are tight, and include the esteemed Debbie Smith (ex of Echobelly and Curve) on bass. Its standard indie guitar fare, but with an interesting twist and one that wears musical influences on its sleeve. There’s a good bit of Bowie, a dash of ’90s Britpop, some general glam rock a la Suzi Quatro, all with a Ian Dury-like conversational and observational approach. 

7 Bells touches on the fear of being beaten up and ends up a bit prog rock crossed with Spiritualized. Lazy Eyes from the new album has some shades of Morrissey-like moroseness while channelling a David Devant like turn or two. 

There’s a pause before latest single Bee, and then the guitarist re-emerges in costume as the track, which hails the power of the collective, twists and turns from glam rock to odd pop and prog noodling stomp. It goes down so well that the band literally play it again, and it’s even better. 

An hour and a dozen or so tracks rush by and the combination of confessional tunes, left field ideas, and odd takes and observations that are far fetched but feasible, make for an enjoyable set.

Backed by bountiful musical influences, overall Stephen EvEns shines out as a shouty yet subtle troubadour recording life’s mysteries with a tongue-in-cheek alternative take on modern life.

Playing live at The Albert, Brighton, on Monday May 11.

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