Live Review: Jemma Freeman & The Cosmic Something, The Charlemagnes, I, Doris + Les Futiles at The Hope & Anchor

The intimate confines of the basement of Islington boozer The Hope & Anchor are packed with punk rock history, and with the much publicised closures of venues around the country it’s fantastic to see this iconic space still supporting the latest wave of guitar-wielding upstarts.

Playing only their second gig, Les Futiles seem well-versed in punk rock history, cramming in echoes of the three-chord anarchy of the bands who graced this space in the late 70s, CBGBs garage rock, undercurrents of angular post-punk and the breezy cool of the New York bands of the early 2000s.  Reduced to a four-piece due to guitarist Jim Rhesus having entered fatherhood just a couple of days before, they feature a few familiar faces from previous Joyzine favourites Marksmen and The Inevitable Pinhole Burns.  The band tread a fine line between brash swagger and fragility without ever quite tumbling to either side and we look forward to more of the same on their imminent debut release.

I, Doris take to the stage in red pinafores, each emblazoned with the word ‘Doris’ in sparkling diamante.  They begin by inviting us to take a pledge of solidarity and inclusiveness which inducts all who commit as honorary Dorises, then the quartet, made up of Doris on bass, Doris on guitar, Doris on drums and Doris on the sleekest keytar I have ever had the privilege to lay eyes on, launch into a set of cheeky garage pop.   They lay siege to sexist attitudes, appropriating the lyrics of Squeeze, Pharell and The Divinyls to hilarious effect along the way.

The Charlamagnes count tonight’s promoter and birthday boy Chris Fox on bass, and their tight set of floor-shaking punk rock proves that they are here on merit, rather than on the promoter’s prerogative.

Rounding off the night’s festivities, Jemma Freeman & The Cosmic Something bring an artful mix of glam rock theatrics, spacious psych explorations and crunchy earl-PJ Harvey style alt rock before collapsing to the floor to end the night in an ethereal squall of feedback.

Review and photography by Paul Maps

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