UK quintet New Young Pony Club have become the latest new New Wave darlings. New Wave has been experiencing a resurgence for the past few years, but with the exception of The Sounds, most 1980s imitators acquiesce to the hackery not being able to pull it off. Pony Club actually give a better live set than their recordings surprisingly being a fun band to watch.
They open with "Get Lucky" from their Pitchfork approved debut, Fantastic Playroom. Lead singer Tahita Bulmer plays the role of the energetic frontwoman well. Just like Go! Team's Ninja, Bulmer doesn't play any instruments but incites the audience to dance and have a good time. Upon the opening song, immediately synths, guitar, and bass play over Bulmer's lascivious vocals. The next track is "Grey," equally poppy and upbeat. Bulmer struts around stage, lunging forwards towards the crowd as her 80s metallic garbed band mates play along. Sure, it may seem silly to actually dress like it's 1985 still, but that's the band shtick and obviously they don't take themselves too seriously to the point where they're in an 80s cover band. Their music is more original than upon first listening. Bulmer speaks to the audience about the other cities they've played and how Chicago has been the most packed. She breaks into their hit track, "Ice Cream," a sensual romp using the delicious dairy treat as a metaphor, for, well, yunno. The audience likes what they hear and jump and dances around. Bulmer then coos, "Some of you are quite dry." This isn't a work out session, so there's no needs to get all hot and sweaty. "It's always Friday night when you're in a band," she shouts. Then mentions they're going to play some Bon Jovi. For a second, the crowd believes her. Thankfully, no Bon Jovi is heard tonight. Instead of Bon Jovi, they decide to play a cover of 80s hit "Pump of the Jam" by Technotronic. The irony is some of the people in the crowd weren't probably born when that song came out. and the band members themselves were fairly young in the decade of greed. The music and fashion still coalesce and everyone seems to love the "Jam." They finish the set with the impressive "The Bomb" as more jumping and rocking ensues. They leave the stage for a minute to cool off and come back for only one encore song. "Get Go" is the final song of the evening and Bulmer and band dance as the music fades into synth heaven. New Young Pony Club's tunes are typical chorus/verse and classic bubblegum, but the band make it worth while with an amusing and engaging set.
Chicago's favorite sons Walter Meego were back in town after playing a couple of coveted CMJ show in NY. The group consisting of Colin Yarck aand Justin Sconza have gained significant buzz around the nation in the past year performing at this year's SXSW, touring Europe, and opening for Of Montreal in March.They obtained a headlining slot at Logan Square on November 21 and just announced their debut album will be coming out early next year. Walter Meego is helping to put local electronic and hip-hop acts like Flosstradamus (who remixed their "Romantic" single) DJ LA Jesus, and Kid Sister on the map. One guy rocks behind the laptop sweating profusely while two other guys play bass and guitar. They play the skittish beats on "Through a Keyhole," dancey yet confined. Their music fits perfectly with headliner New Young Pony Club's new New Wave style. They perform the track "Lost" jamming while the audience claps audience forming a sort of mild rave party. The final song they play is "Romantic," probably one of the best in their oeuvre. It slowly builds to explode into organ sounds, the repetition of "breaking your heart, and heavy electronic instrumentals. Walter Meego will continue to set the clubs afire in the next year and hopefully the world.