The High Society: Camden Barfly, 20/10/06

There were four bands on tonight. I caught the end of the first lot, and you know, they were actually fairly good. But never mind that.

Never mind the ones who came later, either, and never mind the crowd of London wankers who'd confused cool with catatonia and couldn't so much as be bothered to nod their heads. There was only one band that mattered tonight, and that was The High Society.

Like your bands friendly? Like them to keep onstage, their side of the line, never getting close enough to be uncomfortable? Like them affable, self-deprecating, pathetically grateful for even the merest smattering of applause? Like your bands nice?

You can keep 'em. Rock and roll isn't about nice, and The High Society aren't a nice band. Tonight they come out bristling with hostility, all guns blazing, rubbing their towering filth-riffs in the faces of the dead-eyed scenesters. They may only have played a handful of gigs together, but they already look like bona fide stars -- and, more importantly, sound like them. "Silicone Valley" is a future sleaze-anthem, "My Roisin Dubh" a blast of pure adrenaline, and the baleful "Revenge" is certainly not a song one would want to bump into down a dark alley. No longer trapped behind a guitar, Maxi Browne proves himself to be a consummate showman, slinking round the stage and audience-baiting like a first class graduate from the John Lydon School of Snark.

Sadly, it's all over far too soon, but by the time they've left us there are a few shrieks from the crowd along with the polite hand-claps. Give them a few months (and a record deal -- no, seriously, someone give them a record deal. Now.) and this lot could really have the indie kids eating their words. Now that - that really would be nice.

Jessica Trash