Oli Swan & The Dangerous Creatures, Mirror Shot and Modra Luna – The Victoria – March 3rd 2020

I’ve been meaning to catch Oli Swan & the Damgerous Creatures for a little while now. I’ve noticed their presence on gig listings that I’ve very nearly attended and have been impressed by the way that they’ve surged from bottom to top of those lists in a short time. That’s a sure sign of quality and it’s all backed up by the interesting, skewed and spirited pop-rock of their releases to date. They’re headlining at the Victoria in Dalston. I’d be a fool not to go along. 

I don’t want to be uncharitable to first support, Modra Luna, but I doubt that their rise to the top of the bill will be as smooth. An energetic delivery, technical competence and some friends in the front to add to the atmosphere can’t mask the fact (for me at least)   that there are few hooks with which to engage. Lola, ‘their first song to be released on Spotify’, at least has a melody to cling to but ultimately their set peters out before beginning. 

 

Mirror Shot fare better. Despite a considerable thinning of the crowd that appears to zap a bit of confidence, there’s more than enough C86 spirit and off-kilter awkwardness to entice a man like me. Reminding me a bit of Hefner, Mirror Shot are not yet the finished article but with vocals that are dripping with longing and loss, the intrigue remains. They don’t appear to be enjoying this trial much yet they have the right to be more perky; ones to watch I suspect. 

 

Oli Swan and the Dangerous Creatures are everything I hoped they’d be. An entourage of happy looking people dressed brightly take to the stage and with a ‘one, two, buckle my shoe’, we’re off. Oli has big, permed curls and a cheeky attitude as he casually discards of his gum between songs. His fantastic band look on adoringly, admiring his many talents. Beautiful harmonies come from the musicians to his side; the keyboard player in particular throwing herself into the gig full-whack. 

There’s a lot of influences at work here; they jump from Motown influenced 60’s pop to 70’s AOR by way of a Wham-like pop jewel from the 80’s. Clearly not ones for routine, they end with a spritely new one that’s either talking about millennial pleasure or pressure. 

They’re a fun band and well worth watching before we all succumb to Coronavirus.. I head home happy.