The Autons tout themselves as Dr Who fans who met whilst auditioning to be android extras in their favourite show. Being one of those people who is somewhat ambivalent about the good Doctor, I was dubious about seeing this band. My doubt soon subsided, however, as the Portsmouth three-piece confidently took the stage and gaily began their whistle-stop tour of the electro-pop world.
Flanked by the guitarist and keyboard player donned in matching suits and specs, the smouldering singer introduced the first song ‘Different Eyes’. His engaging voice rose and fell along with the authentic scary music – straight from an episode of Casper the Friendly Ghost. This track sounded like a hit single and had the whole room spellbound, the perfect mix between sounding unique, yet familiar made it an ideal set starter.
Clearly proficient musicians, with a impressive repertoire of tracks, the set continued pleasingly but none of the other songs quite matched the distinctiveness of the first – although the brand new wildlife-inspired ‘Snakes’ came close as the singer writhed with a tambourine to a boppy Euro beat. The fairly small crowd were supportive and seemed to enjoy the set, particularly the loud, boisterous instrumentals.
With songs inspired by Igor Stravinsky and complemented with sleigh bells, Spanish-style guitars and country twangs, this band is far from run of the mill. Think McAlmont and Butler meets Tenacious D doing a classic Bluetones B-side electro-style and you’re halfway there. See them for the experience of witnessing an original, modern band and having a good time to boot.