Californian duo whose musical output belies their tender years.
Date: July 7, 2014
Venue: Bodega, Nottingham
It’s an obvious observation, but one which cannot be ignored. The Bots, frontman and guitarist Mikaiah Lei, 19, and brother drummer Anaiah Lei, 16, produce a similar output to that of The White Stripes at their most intoxicating and the Black Keys at their bluesy best.
Those two bands exist with just two members and make acerbic, noisy, boisterous blues rock, so parallels are unavoidable.
But there are distinct differences. So tender are The Bots’ combined years that the Californian-bred, London-based siblings care little for comparisons; they’re just having fun and playing music they love.
Mikaiah, well-spoken, polite and sincere throughout, wearer of a curious headpiece which is part curtain, part tea towel, is like the new Jimi Hendrix. Not just because of the odd headgear or skin colour, but because his prowess with a guitar is both masterful and powerful.
It’s been noted before with many a duo, but the energy, verve and swagger they produce is 10 times more fervent than some tired old indie band. They fill the Bodega with a venomous swell; it’s loud, brash, volatile and mighty.
Even when they slow it down to a soulful almost reggae vibe, the chorus rubs out that sketch and skewers it with yet more feral histrionics.
Despite their tender years these kids have swagger and confidence but without the cocksure attitude. It’s a winning formula.
Yes there are similarities with The Black Keys and The White Stripes, but The Bots are so much more than simply black and white.