Review: Club Paradise @ Think Tank (6.12.18)

When you’re at school, you’re constantly questioned about what you’re going to do in the future. Nobody ever has the answer. When I was at school, I switched from chef to graphic designer with a few career choices I’ll not admit to in between. I tried to learn guitar when I was 13/14, and loved music but never had any inclination my career would be in music media. Now, I’m writing about a band which has roots to the same school of myself and the guitarist for Sam Fender who just won the Brits Critic’s Choice award.

In spite of our place of education and a music teacher that once told me I’d never get a job or be accepted into a college – 3/4 of Club Paradise have achieved a lot since starting out as Street Party In Soho. I was there for their second ever gig as a proper band in the school hall. I was there when Ryan wasn’t the lead singer until hours before that gig, when Nathan wasn’t the drummer until not much earlier than that and when Harry and Jackson replaced lads in my year in the school band which long preceded SPIS.

A few national tours, plays on Made In Chelsea and a name change later, Club Paradise headlined ThinkTank? on a cold Thursday night. One thing they’ve definitely got better at over the years is picking support acts. I’m sure that support band seven years ago weren’t really as bad as I remember, they just didn’t fit.

Amongst Echoes and Deep.Sleep were perfect in their positions warming the crowd up nicely. As a complete newbie to openers Amongst Echoes I didn’t know their music so it was nice to be treat to a cover of the all-too familiar Moving To New York by The Wombats. They also treat us to a performance of their latest single Daylight Robbery which went down well.

It’s been impossible to ignore Deep.Sleep in 2018. With singles like Orange English Sun the indie pop four piece have become a staple of the north east circuits refreshing move away from stale bland indie that has haunted the region for years. From the cheeky charisma of likeable frontman Dan, to the polar opposite mannerisms of the guitarists who flanked him – Deep.Sleep weren’t just playing music on a stage but really performing.

As for the headliners? I forgot how many of their releases I had checked from the shadows. In their Street Party In Soho form, songs like 17 were indisputable bangers. In their newly evolved form of Club Paradise they’ve pumped out two terrific tracks in the form of Brother and Sugar. The latter of which was the focus of the night, being the launch event for the single. I often find live performance improve my love for a track. Already fond of the second Club Paradise single, I have a new found appreciation for the record.

Ryan’s vocal range in particular impressed throughout but the highlight of the night didn’t really even need the frontman to be there. Having suitably warmed the crowd up, the ThinkTank audience reached a fever pitch as a cover of Fountains Of Wayne’s Stacey’s Mom emerged from the speakers and everyone sang along to every word. The apparent genuine surprise of calls for an encore was a nice touch to the end the show. Humbly admitting they hadn’t prepared to perform any other songs which is a rarity in music these days, they drew for an old gem the crowd gleefully expressed their gratitude to hear.

Holly Rees on the other hand, did prepare for an encore and admitted as such in fantastic fashion during her show at Think Tank Underground the next night. More on that to come soon.

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