Going into a gig blind can be immensely entertaining. It will either be the biggest pile of poo you’ve ever witnessed or a completely amazing gig. Having heard little about Second Sense, I was worried that it would be awful but the band delivered a gig which can firmly be classified in the latter category. Supported by another excellent band (the Fins), this was a memorable gig for all the right reasons.
The Clapham Grand is a nightclub in the evening, hundreds of punters turn up to dance the night away at this somewhat cheesy disco. In fact, over the last few years it has built up quite a reputation as a place of ill-repute, binge-drinking and violence. However, before all of that is allowed to start, the place holds gigs for unsigned bands on a regular basis. The crowd is a diverse mix. On the one hand, there are posh school girls who are all dressed like Peaches Geldof. On the other hand there are older record industry types and what appeared to be the parents of the band members on stage. This is not your usual gig-going crowd.
Second Sense have been trailing the London music scene for a few years now according to their website. Their music draws from various musical wells: ska, punk, reggae, indie, and soul are all well represented in their music. Front girl Millie provides the perfect foil to the band’s rather serious and concentrated trio of musicians (Davide on guitar, Frank on Bass and the drummer who’s name eluded me).
On stage Millie moves like a vixen, exhibiting sexuality beyond her years (I know, I know, I sound like a pervert!). Her voice at times sounds like she’s Siouxsie Sioux, although there is a wider musical range displayed. Dressed in a tight fitting Santa costume, it being nearly Xmas and all, she is the perfect front-girl for such a band. She certainly has the talent and charisma to be the focal point for the band on stage.
The music veers off on amazing tangents – one minute it’s Bloc Party, the next it’s the Clash, the next it’s Madness. The bass lines and rhythm displayed by this talented group of musicians seem to be the key to their songs. ‘Inventive’ is the word they’ve used to describe this on their MySpace, however it may be a disservice to their talents to simply use this word.
The crowd certainly enjoyed the show. With hundreds of glow sticks being thrown out into the crowd, free T-shirts and badges there’s a lot to keep them interested. However, it is the music which kept the fans entertained. By the end of their set, conga lines have formed, and it’s like attending a mini-Notting Hill carnival, but indoors. With their last song finished, the sparse and diverse crowd is completely won-over.
If there is one reason why the band may not have already got a record contract, it may be due to the lack of homogeneity in their style of music. However, should they decide upon which musical route to go down, they may well loose much which makes up their charm. Being original is something to be proud of, not compromised. However, the reality of the situation is that artistic integrity means nothing in the face of a recording contract. Let’s hope for music’s sake they can stick to their guns, or at least some of their guns when the man from the record industry comes around.
If you’re in London or the UK, Second Sense is a band definitely worth checking out as soon as possible. Go and see them if you can.