A lot of people would tell you that this is counter-intuitive, but then a lot of people also buy Nickleback records, so feel free to treat their remarks with as much or little contempt as you like.
However, I’ll never deny that lurking around in the recesses of a murky venue is a great way to discover ace new bands. (It’s also a great way to watch, as I did recently, a terminally average band spend 45 minutes setting up two synthesizers before playing a gig of devastating averageness.)
The New Lines are a band that set up quickly, performed a shambolically riveting set, and then left the stage to mingle with the crowd. That’s the way to do it.
The New Lines were playing a venue called 285 Kent in Brooklyn, a venue so basic in construction that one whole wall is simply a swathe of fabric strung from the ceiling, and where the toilets have no locks, but, unexpectedly, plenty of toilet paper.
In this fittingly shambolic setting, they played a series of focussed, mesmeric and disorientating songs: weird but not outré, formless but practised, sincere but not overly serious.
Their songs, like La Réciproté, were warm, organic and charming, unlike so many of those by their contemporaries.
The last song they played petered out because they “are still working on it.” I applauded louder for this very reason. Great.
Photography by Filmstrip Photography