Live Review: Taffy at The Victoria, Dalston

Taffy initially took the indiepop world by storm in 2012 with their debut album Sunset Caramel, sweeping raving reviews across all major outlets. Now veterans in their own right, this year they’re back with their fifth album Deep Dark Creep Love, released on the 5th July with Club AC30 and opening their UK tour with a set at Dalston’s Victoria. Their sensibilities are rooted deep in British pop, rock, grunge and shoegaze, soaked in a wide array of influences from C86 to Britpop and beyond. It feels like they’re back home in London playing on this hot and humid night, all of us gathered at Dalston’s favourite DIY hang-out, watching Taffy set up.

From the very first drum beat, the Japanese quartet throw us on the most thrilling ride, everyone ready to dance and jump, the air charged with excitement. It’s wonderful to see the genuine sense of joy and excitement for these indiepop mavericks. Deep Dark Creep Love, whilst building on the band’s fun and fuzzy take on noise-pop, pushes towards atmospheric guitars and big choruses, with Iris’s ethereal voice floating through the dreamy psychedelic soundscapes of their songs.

Tonight is all about the new album and its exciting blend of eras, influences, rhythms and melodies. Drenched in the reverberating lights of the psychedelic visuals behind them, Taffy take us through the atmospheric sounds of ‘She & She’ and ‘Sunless Echo’, sweetly reminiscent of The Jesus and Mary Chain. The dance beats of ‘The Bates’ pick up with the upbeat, mish mash of sounds shooting in all different directions, only to dive head first into a post punk riff chorus. It’s punk and it’s fun and it has all of us dancing and jumping around. The sheer joy on drummer Ken’s face lifts my heart and throws it into this whirlwind of pop and punk, rollercoasting through the beats with brilliant speed and delight, bringing a smile to our faces.

Aiai Ride’ has a quirky pop quality to it. Accentuated through subtle pulses and weeping back guitars, it again falls into the gorgeously fuzzy pop choruses that tonight is full of. The new single ‘The Inner Nerd’ has a wonderfully nostalgic Nirvana-esque quality to it, growling underneath Iris’s clear and angelic voice. As with nearly all the songs, the distinctive soundscapes spill into each other effortlessly before suddenly plunging us into a different year and a different memory. In ‘The Inner Nerd’, too, the grunge fizzes out into fuzzy shoegaze riffs, leaving us floating high on nostalgia for the sound that Taffy grab with both hands and rework into something captivating and fresh. ‘Halo#6’ encapsulates the band’s sound with a brilliant energy, racing through the space and our hearts with super powers, riffs plummeting into drum beats with an intoxicating force.

My favourite of the night is the band’s cover of David Bowie’s ‘Never Let Me Go’. Taffy turn a relatively simple sound of a track that’s not one of Bowie’s greatest into a soothing, fuzzy and hypnotic indiepop gem that lingers on with its infectious melody line and dreamy chorus. They leave to applause and desperate requests for more, having given us an hour of an exhilarating pop dream.

Review and photography by Anna Siemiaczko

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