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Beach Fossils and Sunnbrella Bring a Buzz to Camden's Electric Ballroom at Sold-Out Show

Photo, and all others in this article, by Maggie Zhu

On 13 February, American indie rock band Beach Fossils came down to Electric Ballroom at the heart of Camden town, bringing on an unforgettable performance for the night. They are currently on their UK/EU tour in support of their latest album Bunny. A completely sold-out show, the venue was packed and buzzing with energy long before the show began.

Prague-born, London-based artist Sunnbrella (David Zbirka) played the opening act for Beach Fossils on their UK leg of the tour. Kicking off their set with 'Wrong' from their debut album Heartworn, Sunnbrella instantly captivated the audience with their stunning performance, setting a deeply passionate tone that would define the evening. Their dreamy shoegaze sound, characterized by ethereal vocals and lush, reverb-drenched guitars, created an immersive soundscape that effortlessly drew the audience into their world. With undeniable echos of shoegaze legends such as Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine, David and the band’s performance was a journey through emotive highs and introspective lows, showcasing their ability to command the stage with both vigour and vulnerability.

A few songs in, David announced the release of his latest single 'Have Your Say', and treated the London crowd to a sneak peek. Described by David himself as a song “about superficial relationships, fake smiles, and promises, and the isolation that life in a big city can sometimes make us feel”, 'Have Your Say' brings out a slightly different vibe to their usual discography, leaning towards glitchy electronic soundscapes. The warm reception from the crowd underscored the band's success in warming up the audience, and leaving a lasting impression with their distinctive sound and heartfelt performance.

As the crowd’s anticipation built, Beach Fossils took the stage. The members bounded up the stage and started the set off with one of the top tracks from the Bunny album, 'Don’t Fade Away', to which the crowd immediately erupted with excitement. Although their music is as soft as a daydream, their live performance was nothing if not high-energy.

Coming from Brooklyn, the four-man band includes Dustin Payseur (vocals, guitar), Tommy Davidson (guitar), Jack Doyle Smith (bass), and Anton Hochheim (drums). Payseur, the band's frontman, led with a enchanting presence, his voice a perfect conduit for the emotive lyrics and melodies that define Beach Fossils' sound. Throughout their set, the headliners interacted with the audience, expressing gratitude for their presence.

Next, the groovy bass and twangy guitar of 'Sugar' drew the crowd in, followed by 'Moments/ What a Pleasure' and 'Shallow'. The band also shared an intimate moment with the crowd while performing 'Sleep Apnea', as the stage lights were turned off and everyone turned on their phone flashlights.

The headliners delivered a performance which was both intimate and expansive, weaving together tracks from Bunny with beloved classics. The band's signature jangly guitars, introspective lyrics, and Payseur's earnest vocals resonated through Electric Brixton, creating a communal atmosphere that felt both personal and all-encompassing.

After nearly ending the set with the long-awaited 'May 1st', the audience roared for an encore, not quite ready for the night to end. Beach Fossils faithfully returned with all-time-favorites 'Down the Line', 'Crashed Out' and 'Daydream', closing the show perfectly. They're clearly a band who knows their audience well — and if the sold-out show hadn't already given that impression from the beginning, the seamless curation of their set definitely would.


Edited by Talia Andrea, Editor in Chief