Marking their Roundhouse debut, Real Estate enjoyed a substantial upscale from their first London gig at The Lexington.
Spinning Coin, a relatively new band from Glasgow, will be the supporting act throughout Real Estate’s tour around Europe. When the band came onto the stage, only a small portion of the people standing around the outside bar had entered the arena. They limited their entrance to ‘We’re Spinning Coin, thanks for turning up early’, and occasionally interjected a quiet thank you; the classic shy-cool indie band aesthetic.
A wave of excitement filled the space as they began… yet died almost instantaneously with the first verse. The band consists of five extremely talented instrumental artists who haven’t quite found their singer yet. The keyboardist, a new addition to the group, doesn’t have much of a role yet and had to dance with her arms by her sides for the majority of the act. The drummer stole the show, but that may just be because he’s the only one who doesn’t attempt to sing.
Nevertheless, they’re not bad enough to make people walk off and one man jamming solo in the middle of the standing zone is absolutely adoring it. Although there’s definitely room for improvement, the stunning guitar and drum solos almost compensate for the band’s other faults. Unfortunately, even though the singing improved throughout their performance, it never sounded quite like the recorded version (which is still somewhat lacking). Despite this, the band could have some potential; it may have just been a bit too early to throw them onto a large venue.
As soon as Spinning Coin left the stage the crowd started swarming in, making me think they knew something I didn’t. The crowd consisted mainly of young American men in a surprisingly large quantity of red checkered shirts; there’s no denying the fanbase is a pretty specific genre of people.
Real Estate’s presence fills the room with energy as soon as they set foot on stage. Alex Bleeker takes on the showman role and he’s exactly what you’d expect from the band’s chill surf vibes— the audience loves it. Their music fills the space up, making the floor and seats vibrate. It’s the perfect type of music to sit down with a pint in your hand.
The standing crowd is a calm one (except for the odd three people moshing in the crowd). Bleeker’s occasional comments enhance the band’s positive effect on the audience; it feels like summer. As I took my phone out for a picture I realised there weren’t many phones out in comparison to what you would usually expect at concerts. Everyone seemed to be enjoying the moment.
The lighting in combination with the Roundhouse’s architectural quality created an electric ambience, from the seats the people below appeared as a sea of purple and blue heads swaying side to side as one. The crowd favourites were ‘Darling’ and ‘It’s Real’, which got everyone singing along. The encore consisted of two songs from their first album Reality, and were slightly weak, yet the dramatically extended ending of ‘All The Same’ from the Days album was the perfect close to the show.
The new album, In Mind, has an added quality, perhaps due to the change from guitarist Matt Mondanile to Julian Lynch. The latter, although consistent with the band’s original style, has transformed the unit into something new and better.
Born in Barcelona and based in London, Anna writes about art, techno and psychogeography. She is also a lover of film photography and is slowly building an Olympus camera collection.