Image provided by Sonic PR
‘This is the first time I’m able to say I’m excited to watch Daytime TV,’ quipped Average Sex guitarist Sam O’Donovan to the crowd. On the 15th of November, Hackney’s Oslo saw Daytime TV (formerly known as Hunter and the Bear) play a show as part of their current tour, egged on by a core legion of receptive fans and supported by the South London five-piece Average Sex. Things initially seemed promising, though my expectation of originality waned following formulaic chord progressions and constant guitar changes. Original or not though, Daytime TV certainly resonated with their fanbase.
The night kicked off on an upbeat note, with Average Sex providing pop-punk imbued melodies evoking the 90s sounds of Lush and Cornershop, or rather an angry Taylor Swift if she screamed against an indie sonic backdrop. The band’s front-woman, Laetitia Bocquet, was charismatic and energetic; her skittish, back-and-forth dancing created a vaguely punk feel whilst her vocals felt raw and authentic. Notably, their song ‘Friends’ (‘like the show,’ the guitarist chimed in again) provided a memorable belter and the lyrics’ adolescent vibes added a distinct nostalgia to their sound.
It would have been nice to hear Average Sex play with the same sound quality as Daytime TV, but the venue’s sound system meant the bass and rhythm guitar vanished sonically throughout their set. Average Sex’s performance was entertaining overall but their playful energy would have been done justice by a more receptive crowd. Beginning and ending their set with emotive lyrics and harmonies, they imbued the space with more than enough energy to prepare the room for the main band. Maybe more ceremonious was the entrance of Daytime TV, who arrived on stage to eerie, pseudo angelic vocals as if they had been summoned by a mysterious force and had descended among us to deliver an unforgettable show. It’s a shame then that each song tended to blur into the next in a neat cacophony. They broke into their first song, ‘We Can't Be Friends,’ with primal power, and the crowd was enthralled by the music, with many well-versed on these songs’ lyrics. Guitarists John Caddick and Will Irvine took turns playing lead, and both had gratifying moments, playing substantially clean riffs. Each musician on stage was tight and together; however, by the time they had reached songs like ‘Dirty Love’ and ‘Communication’ it began to feel as if these seasoned performers just knew how to impress a crowd like clockwork, to the point where it could feel rehearsed and a little old fashioned. The gig ground to an anthemic lull as the songs, though well-performed, began to drag a little.
There were a few particularly memorable moments such as the throwing of a signed frisbee into the crowd, and Daytime TV is hard to fault in terms of technical prowess; however, the music’s energy did not seem to extend beyond that. It had all of the ingredients of a formidable sound, yet lacked the spikiness and invention I personally craved. To put it starkly, Daytime TV lived up to their name.
Edited by Lucy Blackmur, Deputy Editor, Talia Andrea, Deputy Music Editor, and Josh Aberman, Music Editor