Live at Birthdays, London

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The development and evolution of any language has always stemmed from the imagination and innovativeness of the young. The vernacular and rhetoric of music, likewise, has always relied on those taking up the baton to be more than aware of what has come before – from that knowledge in itself, comes revolution. To suggest that PAWS are merely pioneers of a new grunge revival is as naive as it is dismissive, and is to lump them in with the likes of Bush, and Silverchair, and other similar acts who’ve often been labelled as such but have always fallen down the path of copyists rather than genuine creatives – on the strength of tonight’s performance, what we get, is a band not only leading the way through their songwriting, but also, in these blistering and visceral live revisions, (un)refined by the time spent together touring them, we are dragooned into submission by progress – by a band daring to brush aside the cobwebs of antiquity to provide us a new vocabulary, and a new architecture with which to build it. Sweeping onto the stage on the back of like-minded revolutionary Ty Segall’s “Imaginary person”, the band fly straight into “Bainz” – instantly and infinitely more muscular than the recorded version from their recent Misled Youth EP, it’s an arresting and awakening, crashingly powerful rendition, from first picked chord to the ringing arpeggio outro. With little room for manoeuvre, and a limited set allowance with which to work, they blast straight into the sub-one-minute-thirty salvo that is the EP’s title track – likewise it’s thrill-inducingly liberating, full of the joyous abandon you’d expect from a song with such a short time to show it. Next comes “Jellyfish”, big, loud, brash and fun, it’s music that reminds you of why you fell in, or fall in love with alternative music at the age you did (unless you’re here for the first time), like Frank Zappa said “The disgusting stink of a too loud electric guitar; now that's my idea of a good time” – its exuberant, wild, aggressive, and mesmerising: a relentless wall of joyfulness. By the time we get to the superb “Lekker”, with its bridge of 'We just started something new’ the audience’s conversion is complete – PAWS are the new prophets and this is the new alternative – one of liberating, life-affirming brilliance that has to be seen and heard.

Something else...

Paws
Fat Cat
Paws
Fat Cat