Keep Shelly In Athens
In the concrete bunker that is new Dalston venue, Birthdays, a kaleidoscope of ambience brightens the otherwise non-descript room. Shells, a Bath-based down tempo electronica artist, sends out rays of lush melody, and calls to mind the euphoric sounds of summer so well performed by musicians such as Gold Panda. Regal Safari, though similar, work their magic as a duo, crafting trippy beats and blissful chillwave, building tension before quickly destroying it only to weave another dark crescendo. Amongst the current profusion of chillwave/ambient electronic artists, it’s difficult for any one to particularly stand out, but there’s a tenderness about Regal Safari that gives them an edge.
Top of the bill are the haunting dark disco duo, Keep Shelly In Athens. With Greece not having the best of times at the moment, this Balearic-tinged act who mingle sweet electro-pop with evocative melancholy are a little example of some of the good news coming from the country. Close your eyes and be transported to the Mediterranean. The duo are backed up on stage with a live band, including a double bass, which gives an orchestral ghostly feel to music that is occasionally loungey, always laidback. Each song has definition from a piercing, bass-heavy wall of sound, layered with frontwoman Sarah P’s echoed vocals and washes of reverb, to a track that sparks a 90s trip-hop vibe, underlined with scratches and samples, and then to the spacey beat of ‘Our Own Dream’. Miserable as the English weather is, this Grecian outfit’s sombre sunlight is a holiday in itself.