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New Young Pony ClubNew Young Pony Club
100 Club, London
Tuesday November 30 2010



Like a cross between Talking Heads and Delta Five, New Young Pony Club have almost single-handedly created a new wave of new wave indie disco - I'd put CSS in there, too, but they did rather lose it with their second album. Well, now it's time for New Young Pony Club to release a second album, and tonight we'll see if they've managed to keep their intitial spark bright.

The 100 Club audience certainly seems to feel lucky. The venue fills with new wave pop heads and indie kids who like a bit of spike in their rhythms. If New Young Pony Club don't hit the high spots, it won't be for lack of goodwill from the crowd.

As the band wanders on stage, picking up guitars, making the last-minute adjustments without which no gig can kick off, a curious thought strikes me: how young they look. Most of the Ponies manage to look like they've bunked off sixth form college to play the gig - apart from guitarist Andy Spence, who, in his stubble and casualwear, is rocking the Trendy Dad look.

 I don't know why this thought springs to mind - maybe it's a subconscious connection with the word 'young'. At any rate, New Young Pony Club have a way to go before their name starts sounding as incongruous as Sonic Youth. Well, that's a comfort, innit.

And then they crank up the Pony-pulse, dropping those insistently catchy songs, the band's trademark uncluttered rhythms always pushed well to the fore. New Young Pony Club's songs typically - almost inevitably - proceed at a brisk trot, basslines up-front, plenty of space around the beat. It's a formula that practically dares you not to dance, and from the opening song 'Chaos' - a bit of a misnomer, for NYPC songs are never less than precision-controlled - the 100 Club is a sea of movement. There's certainly no problem with the band/audience connection tonight.

On vocals, Tahita Bulmer is an energetic, amiable but just slightly edgy figure, walking the tightrope between poptastic bounciness and a certain post-punky idiosyncracy. She's always in motion, the focal point of the band's rhythmic brew, and certainly without her you wouldn't have New Young Pony Club. You'd have a nifty danceable pop group, certainly, but you wouldnt have New Young Pony Club. New song 'Stone' is a bit of a slo-mo, bass-heavy affair, the band teetering on the edge of the dub pool, but never quite jumping in. That's followed by 'Ice Cream', one of the big hits of the Pony Club, its sparse rhythm filling the room.

But the real energy-bomb is 'Bomb', which wraps up the set - of course it does, because it's the quintessential New Young Pony Club new wave disco anthem, the song which lets you know exactly what the band are all about in a concentrated burst of vitality. Yes, the spark is strong. The Pony Club rocked the indie disco tonight.

New Young Pony Club

New Young Pony Club: Website | MySpace | Facebook

For more photos from this gig, find New Young Pony Club by name here.

Find a New Young Pony Club album review here.

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Page credits: Review, photos and construction by Michael Johnson. Nemesis logo by Antony Johnston. Red N version by Mark Rimmell.
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