Live: Belgrade, The Lexington, 15/3/12

We really shouldn’t be out this evening, let alone heading to a sweaty and non-West-London-based venue. For we have once again mis-timed our increasingly more-frequent afternoon nap and have woken up in a frame of mind and state of being that can fairly be described as “The Gorm”, all from oversaturating our person with varying matters of music business in the last four days. You may think the last thing we’d want to do tonight is to head to a show. But you’d be wrong, because Belgrade have decided to spring out of their mid-to-long term recording spot (in Birmingham, we may have heard/made up) and show their native London just what exactly they’ve been playing at. Personal circumstances taken into account – one of the guys has got himself an actual, real job alongside the others pursuing similar endeavours whilst performing the inevitable balancing-act with the responsibilities of being in a full-time band – the four chaps from Ealing step up to the support plate at the request of The Low Suns‘ singer Jack Berkeley, following a performance viewing from the recent-Coldplay touree’s frontman at a show back in December 2011.

Belgrade – Whitecaps

Belgrade – Olympic Heights

Somewhat unsuspectingly launching into personal live favourite Poster Boys without more than an “Alright?” style intro from mainman Patrick Hough, we were rather suprised to find a revival of older material from when we first chanced upon the guys’ music just over a year ago – more over, it is pleasing to see that Belgrade look very much in high spirits in contrast to the bitter-sweet musical and lyrical content they provide. In fact, we’d even go as far as to say they’re really, really enjoying this, and grins begin to sporadically appear on the faces of a growing number of spectators as they follow through with Marathon Man. Next comes the golden opportunity to showcase what the chaps have been up to more recently. Relative-nubes Caught In The Strange and Whitecaps materialise with total-nube Floodlights being sandwiched in between (along with some vintage Hough-style onstage banter), giving a sense of The National driving along a desert highway with the roof down, and more relevantly the impression of confident songwriting and surety in the band’s delivery – guitarists Hough and, um, D’s (for guitarist-and-other-singer David’s surname is only known to us as “D”) electicity-projective playing is supplemented perfectly by one of the most formidable rhythm sections we’ve seen in a grassroots act. Impressive stuff indeed, and a great sign of things to come. Rounding things up with trademark belter Battles results in everyone watching, ourselves included, mighty glad that we came out tonight after all.

Belgrade – Caught In The Strange

Words: Achal Dhillon

Pictures: Achal Dhillon, Belgrade

Thanks to: The Low Suns for sorting us out with guestlist

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