Live Review: The Next Big Thing

Last Friday I went to see three bands that I had never heard of. The evening was entitled 'Next Big Thing', so perhaps in a few years time when one of them is dominating the UK charts I will look back and remember the time when I saw that once never heard of band playing at The Borderline in Soho. Perhaps.

After all, I do love a good “I saw them before they were famous” story to tell my mates round the dinner table - makes me seem knowledgeable and wise - like Dumbledore. I bet he saw the Arctic Monkeys' first gig...

I think, however, that I would have to go to a hell of a lot of these 'Next Big Thing' gigs in order to stumble across a band that might actually fulfill my Dumbledore dinner table story. If it wasn’t for the half an hour break and the customary handing out of home-burned demo CD’s at the end of a set, I’m not sure that I would have been able to distinguish between the bands that I saw. Although to be fair, that may be down to the poor sound quality at the venue.

There were three bands playing; The Scholars, The Chevin (disappointingly not pronounced “Kevin”) , and Last Republic. We got there towards the end of The Scholars set, and made a really awkward walk across the deserted dancefloor towards the bar. It was like a Primary school dance where small groups of people surround the perimeter and dare each other to be the first to start dancing.

The Chevin gave a really passionate, energetic performance. I am still humming Champion, which to me, suggests that it is a good song. It is the only song that I can recall from Friday night so I would be willing to go on record and say that it was the best song of the night. As a band they were tight, and as individuals they were well organised and technically sound.

Headliners The Last Republic went down a storm with a now enthusiastic crowd. Having been tipped as being the best thing since Tom Jones to emerge from Wales, it’s easy to see why. The band have received airplay on Radio 1 from the likes of Zane Lowe and Huw Stevens as well as playing the Main Stage at V Festival so lets be honest - the boys know what they’re doing, and that came across on stage as they delivered a slick set.

So did I actually see the 'Next Big Thing'? I doubt it. But what I did see were three (well, two and a little bit) high quality bands for a low entrance fee amongst a small, enthusiastic music loving crowd, which to me is a gig worth attending.