Review of Sic Alps, Ducktails, and Arch M at Bardens Boudoir on the 8th June 2010

In Gigs, London and the UK, New Jersey on June 10, 2010 at 5:14 pm

As I mentioned hereSic AlpsDucktails and Arch M recently played at hip Dalston venue Bardens Boudoir. I went on the basis of Arch M’s EP which is available for download here, and Matt recommended I also see Ducktails, which is the one-man pop project of Matthew Mondanile, guitarist for New Jersey’s Real Estate.

London based Arch M opened; recording usually as a solo outfit he was here joined with a bassist and drummer. They played exactly as I had expected; in a very laid back style, with a lot of attention to the detail of the sonic soundscapes and a laid back playing style that emphasised the languid, unrolling  nature of their tunes.

Ducktails followed, and after a relatively bizarre intro composed of whistle loops and ethereal, though confusing samples, he kicked back (laid back?) into the simple, breezy, the summer time pop he is known for. The tunes were simple and incessantly catchy, though performing in the blackened underbelly of Stoke Newington high street is definitely not the venue you would wish to see him in. Funnily, he made a few dry-as-you-like jokes, which seemed to catch the audience off guard as his childish demeanour and happy go lucky melodies did not suggest such a caustic wit was lying beneath.



Sic Alps closed, and played by the far the longest set, as well as the loudest and most uptempo. Apparently drawing from the DJ’s playlist, which, after a chat, was revealed to me to be focused around Korean and Japanese psych rock from the 1970s, Sic Alps played loud and woozy chord progressions with a tangible and determined drum beat behind them. Having been the band I was least looking forward to, Sic Alps definitely became the highpoint of the night for me, which had got better as it had gone on. Unfortunately, too many of the oh-so-hip crowd seemed to not dig any musical reference to anything approaching actual (shock!) ROCK! and so failed to get involved with what could have been an epic show – though they did stay pretty raptured for the whole show, which left me feeling like hipster self image had scuppered my chances of a fantastic pit. Ah well.

Sic Alps


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