The two best gigs of the year were Box Elders and Box Elders. Twice in the past 10 days they thrilled two London venues with ringing guitars, bubblegum psych organ, songs kept short‘n’snappy, and showmanship – a stand up drummer keeping the teenage beat and playing keyboard at the same time! maracas thrown for crowd participation! long hair flailing! shit-eating grins! – of the highest order.
Third on the bill at the tiny Ryan’s Bar on Saturday – and only getting that gig due to a cancellation – they played with so much energy and fizz that all newcomers were instantly captivated. There was no let up between songs, save from the occasional pause for breath to say “we’re Box Elders”.
Someone in the crowd did say “you’re the best band in the world”. He was right. He was also the drummer from the headline act. I didn’t stay to watch them. No disrespect, but there are maybe only five bands in the world who could have followed Box Elders. This time next year they’ll probably be playing to five times as many people; the year after that even more.
At both gigs, I checked the faces (all completely fucking happy) to see who was there because one day loads of people who weren’t there are going to say they were. If you weren’t, you should’ve been.