The zeitgeist was strong in 2008, and its gravitational pull led me towards this hipster band for some reason. Normally I give them a wide berth, but, well, they weren’t bad I suppose. A bit predictable perhaps; a bit of the old cliché ‘style over substance’ could be aimed towards them. But, you know, not bad.
Date: February 23, 2008
Venue: Rescue Rooms
It seems you can’t skim a cymbal through hipsterland these days without striking someone describing their sound as ‘pop’. England is crawling with pre-pubescent scenesters making music like Keane if they used guitars and swanning around stages in skinny jeans and cravats before their school holidays come to an end and they have to hit the geography books again.
One Night Only are such a band. Like The Kooks if they’d nicked the Kaiser Chiefs epic songs and been force fed a generous spoonful of the gooey mixture served up from the aforementioned Keane, these five stick-thin, foppish young shimmer-popstrels come equipped with a smouldering, synth-heavy sound and a healthy dollop of confidence which belies their tender years.
They know how to groove, too, coaxing out irresistibly limb-shaking noises from their instruments, exposing the current vogue for brittle punk-funk of which you can actually, like, really dance too.
But it’s with chest-beating power-pop single Just For Tonight, though, when they really hit their peak. With its bouncing, devilish ebullience it’s the one song where every single person in the young crowd is in unison, singing proudly as loud as their little lungs will manage.
If, after watching a show like this, you don’t love this new wave of ‘pop’ then you are devoid of joy, are a harbinger of dreariness, and you just may be already dead.