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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Las Kellies at Oslo Hackney: Live Review

We catch the Argentine trio at London’s newest venue on Thursday 14th May 2014.

Written by Richard Pearmain

Las Kellies by Sam Parr

Las Kellies by Sam Parr

Very much the new kid on the block in terms of East London music destinations, Oslo Hackney has been attracting some interesting (and surprisingly big name) acts in the short time that it’s been open. Owned by the same people behind Bristol’s Thekla and, according to the website, pretty much every venue in Nottingham, Oslo Hackney has transformed the original (but long empty) Hackney Central station building into a Nordic themed (hence the name) bar and restaurant with a pretty substantial stage upstairs to cater for gigs and club nights.

Las Kellies by Thomasina Smith

Las Kellies by Thomasina Smith

First on stage tonight was Scraps, otherwise known as Brisbane’s Laura Hill. Crouched over pulsing and warbling synths, with her vocals drenched in reverb, Scraps’ songs invoke memories of early 80s electro-pop bands, interspersed with dry asides to the audience. I’d actually seen her the previous week at the Windmill, supporting September Girls, and had been impressed.

Las Kellies by Gilly Rochester

Las Kellies by Gilly Rochester

Scraps’ labelmates Las Kellies are another band I’d seen before at the Windmill. Originally from Buenos Aires, they released their fourth album, Total Exposure, last year and were back in town to promote it. Combining the post punk sounds of the Slits and the minimal funk of New York No Wavers ESG with a Latin twist, Las Kellies offer scratchy guitar over a bounding bass and some no frills drum fills to get even the most stubborn soul grooving.

Las Kellies by Nicola Porter

Las Kellies by Nicola Porter

With main vocal duties taken by guitarist Cecilia Kelly, Silvina Costa chipping in on harmonies from behind her drum kit stage right, and bass player Adriana Navarro swooping and swaying between them, Las Kellies ran through favourites old and new like King Lion, Post Post, Scotch Whisky and Keep The Horse. A busy crowd was treated to a cover of ESG’s Erase You and, a bit unexpectedly, Beat On The Brat by the Ramones. The Total Exposure album introduces keyboards to the Las Kellies sound, and the slower Golden Love reminded me of one of Tom Tom Club’s more mellow moments. The band closed their set with another ESG cover, Cecilia Kelly swapping her guitar for a cowbell on My Love For You.

Las Kellies by Mark Squire

Las Kellies by Mark Squire

Las Kellies are now touring Europe before heading back across the Atlantic, but hopefully we’ll see them back in the UK sometime soon.

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