Deep beneath the hipster-trodden streets of East London lies XOYO, a venue that immediately springs to mind when considering some of the champions of music’s up and coming talent. Frank Ocean, Solange and Brooke Candy are among the artists I’ve seen at the place, all of which progressed on some sort of uphill trajectory in their own right. After tonight, I’m pretty sure I can add Bipolar Sunshine to that list, and a little more surprisingly, Indiana.
On occasions, we’ve all skipped the support artist with the hope of avoiding an awkward set that’s loaded with songs sounding like rubbish versions of the headline act’s last EP. Fortunately for me, I’d heard Indiana’s latest track ‘Solo Dancing’ and was hoping for something special. Did we get it? We did indeed; this was a bloody good set. Comprising of six tracks, Indiana’s set contained a couple of older tracks, along with some exciting newness. Her bass-heavy, sparse sound engulfed the venue, a perfect example of music that translates to a live setting with added intensity. Add to that her restrained yet floating vocal, and the atmosphere was tinged with a dream-like serenity. For an audience that had probably heard one or two tracks from Indiana, if that, they seemed pretty damn glued to the stage. Stage presence and a host of stunningly crafted tracks? Big things could well be on the horizon.
Next up; Bipolar Sunshine. Kicking things off with a huge projection of cult classic ‘Gone With The Wind’, and an ear-splitting bass line, the stage was set for a performance that stimulated the senses. Bright red ballons and a flowery scarf provided bursts of colour, while frontman Adio Marchant only added to the ‘sunshine’ with a flower-patterned shirt. Dressing snappily seemed to be the theme of the day for the band, thoughtfully complimenting their slick live style. Marchant was on form from the off, encouraging the audience to engage and sing the hooks back to him, making light of technical issues that interrupted the set, and capturing their hearts with heartfelt songs about romance. An A$AP Rocky medley only made the crowd weaker at the knees as the boys slowed things down and transformed the mood of the songs. Staying true to their band-name, watching a Bipolar Sunshine show is a rollercoaster of emotions. ‘Happy’ makes me feel more elated than Pharrel‘s half-arsed attempt, and as a result, I leave the show feeling fulfilled and satisfied with what I’ve seen. Next time, it’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire that’ll host, and it seems that both Indiana and Bipolar Sunshine will embark on their own uphill trajectories in the near future.
Photos by Jeff Moh