Seeing Northeast Party House at the Corner Hotel to launch their new EP Pascal Cavalier was always going to be an interesting proposition. Having started out playing house parties, the kind of small club nights where the bands are not the focus, and then graduating straight to the likes of Falls Festival and Pyramid Rock, I was interested to see how their notoriously energetic performances would translate to a reasonably large venue where they were the focus for the evening. The question for me was whether this band of kids was ready to step up.
City Calm Down were tasked with warming up the crowd, a pretty unenviable task. Their mix of post-punk and Horrors-style electronic noise goes down well with the crowd of indie kids who have packed the venue. They showed why they’ve been buzzed by several music publications already in recent times, delivering a hooky and energetic set to the punters; and after a bit of a slow start they manage to win the crowd over, receiving a hearty applause as they vacate the stage.
In the break between bands, I Oh You DJ Johann Ponniah pressed play on a bunch of stock party-standby hip-hop and r’n’b, which was pretty much universally enjoyed by a crowd who knew what they were there for and proceeded to get as loose as the packed venue allowed.
Northeast Party House then answered any questions that I might’ve had about whether they were ready for this kind of popularity. The six-strong group stormed the stage to a 90’s pop classic, proceeded to launch about 20 beach balls into the crowd, then started handing out beers.
What followed was an hour of danceable indie-rock, with vocalist Zach Hamilton-Reeves’ smooth croon and clean-cut looks winning over both the crowd of girls at the front and their boyfriends lurking slightly further back. An invited stage invasion from the guy who held the two-week party at his house which inspired the name of the band was a highlight, as was seeing him dragged off by a concerned looking security guard. This seemed to set a precedent, as during the performance of their new single Pascal Cavalier, about 15 other people jumped on stage, several removing their clothes. Northeast’s music isn’t trying to mess with the pop formula; it’s all about hooky, understated verses and big high-impact, everyone-singing-into-the-microphone choruses, of which there’s an abundance. This is party music, not to be taken seriously, and if you can let go of the urge to dismiss them as another band walking the tight-rope between Two Door Cinema Club and The Kooks, you’ll have a good time.