Blue and green record exploding into shards

Live (Luxembourg aka The Exhibitionists / Lo Slung)

Lo Slung have sensibly realised that what the world needs is Alabama 3 as an art-school prank, minus the lyrical verve and genuine bad intentions and with a serious hard-on for tight-trousered heavy rock. Now, I’m making that sound like a bad thing. In fact, Lo Slung are a perfectly pleasant way to spend half an hour, and Adam de Gruchy can only be admired for having the presence to carry off his strutting rock god poses to a virtually empty room.

However, with a couple of exceptions – a song ‘about love’ and some twinkly synth moments – they don’t bring much more than comic relief. What’s more, when Adam invites Martin Horsebox onstage to play some electro drum thingies, the petite percussionist completely steals the show without saying a word, such is his Chaplinesque charisma.

‘The Exhibitionists’ is quite clearly a pseudonym, but who are the secret giggers? Squinting from the back of the room, it could be Brett Anderson, Maximo Park or even Lord fuggin’ Byron. The mystery guests are the somewhat-feted Luxembourg, road-testing new songs and a new bassist.

Their class is obvious. Very much a Certain Type of Band at the Suede/My Life Story end of the Bowie family tree, and they have charisma and very good songs indeed. They’re magnificent at close quarters, but bigger stages beckon for a band who know how to pull heartstrings.

Horsebox are affable, clubbable and probably eminently adoptable, though they’d make a dent in your drinks cabinet. Who’s your favourite? There’s Andrew, the quietly dapper bassist, swinging away like he’s in Bill Haley’s Comets, and Skipper, the cheery soul of the band, supplying handclaps, backing vocals and working the keyboard and xylophone that make the Horsebox sound a unique one. Will, the frontman with the giddy visions, is lively enough to break three strings (during one of the slower songs!) and consequently ends up borrowing Adam de Gruchy’s guitar. Adam’s spent half an hour humping the hell out of it, but he doesn’t seem the jealous type.

They already have a de facto set of greatest hits. ‘Hosa’, the song that does for Potters Bar what CS Lewis did for Narnia, is their very own ‘Itchycoo Park’, and ‘Best Tape in the World’ is a rabble-rousing set-closer worthy of its grandiose title. There is one untitled new song. It’s definitely not called ‘Holloway Road’, says Will: ‘My girlfriend won’t let me use any more place names in songs.’ Shame. ‘Or postcodes. Or bus routes.’ The finger-clicking doowopabilly stormer that follows breaks most of these rules, but who’s worried? This may be the best night out in town right now.

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Written by McLaughlin on

Stuart McLaughlin was a regular write for [the-mag] and was frequently seen in live music venues in search of great new music.
Stuart McLaughlin

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