Outfit – Camden Barfly, London – Live review

Originally published: NME

It’s been almost a year to the day that Liverpool’s Outfit first formed. Cause to celebrate, you would think, but a show at Camden’s Barfly will soon quell any commemorative mood. A small crowd gathers front of stage, looking static, stern and determined to burst the birthday balloon of one of 2012’s hotly-tipped bands. Not that the five-piece should care, though. It’s been a year in which they lived in a Merseyside mansion for next to nothing, became darlings of the local scene and blogosphere with their synth-pop seductions, and moved to London to capitalise on their precocious talents. They’ve already had their cake and eaten it.

And tonight’s show warrants the hype they have received. Opener ‘Vehicles’ cruises with Hot Chip-like electronic flourishes, before flowering into the pop-curious ‘Every Night I Dress Up As You’. And while they may have deracinated themselves from their Mersey motherland, their musical roots still run deep: there is as much a Beatles-inspired boy band charm and confidence to their performance, as Teardrop Explodes brooding behind ‘Everything All The Time’. ‘Without Trace’ twists and turns like a more rhythmically challenging Late Of The Pier track. But it’s the subtle, pop-on-ice single ‘Two Islands’ that steals and settles the night, blooming with Wild Beasts-tinged beats and celestial guitar solos. One year on, Outfit are already into a self-assured stride.

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