LIVE: Sorry / Wünderhorse, The Jazz Café, Camden, London, 21/06/2022 2

LIVE: Sorry / Wünderhorse, The Jazz Café, Camden, London, 21/06/2022

It’s a hot, sticky summer’s Tuesday. The cost of living is oppressive, utility prices are obscene, the working person has to strike to protest their workers’ rights and pay, and the trains coming into London and below its streets fall silent. The roads are clogged with traffic and the air is thick with fumes. The heat pricks at the road rage and we’re cutting each other up like knives to the throat.

In the small Jazz Café on the Parkway, near the Dublin Castle, angry young upstarts gather to drink expensive beer and watch some punks rip it up.

Apologies if you thought this was accidentally a review of Pistol, you’re at the wrong publication; this is 2022, not 1976, but this country is still fucking fucked. Get pissed, destroy.

However, the drummer from the fictionalised version of the Sex Pistols in the aforementioned television programme is on the stage before us. Jacob Slater, once of Dead Pretties, is now in his solo incarnation Wünderhorse, and what a stallion it is.

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Jacob Slater/Wünderhorse

This couldn’t be further from the start from scratch punk band he portrays, albeit Paul Cook was a competent drummer, as Jacob and the band are virtuosos. On early tracks in the set, the brilliant ‘Poppy’ and ‘Butterflies’, Slater comes across like Bruce Springsteen fronting The Verve circa 1993, which is a very good thing. On more subdued efforts such as ‘Teal’, and the unplayed single ’17’, there is an element of early Doves, which is a nice change of pace from what is an intense and cerebral live performance until the finale of ‘Epilogue’ blows the doors off its hinges. Quite the opening act. Debut LP Cub is out in September on The MaccabeesFelix White‘s Yala Records.

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Asha Lorenz/Sorry

If you like to cheat and check previous setlists that bands have played on a tour, then you may have seen that Sorry have been debuting a glut of brand-new songs and this date, which is a delayed night from last November, concludes a nationwide tour which appears to be leading up to LP2. For the eagle-eyed, on the screen above their heads which flashed images from videos and other stills throughout the gig, repeatedly displayed a gravestone with a date which hung for slightly longer as the band left the stage. There was a date; 7/10/22, suggesting this is when the album will arrive. They do like to drop subtle hints regularly. At the end of each video treatment, there is usually a snippet of the next single sped up to comical pitches. This is normally only apparent retrospectively as you have no idea what a new song will sound like.

Unless you’re paying attention tonight, where the smattering of new songs break up and add additional emphasis to the ones we know and love from their debut LP, 925 and other singles and EPs.

Unlike on previous tours, it feels like Sorry have made a breakthrough. Even at other hometown gigs, whilst sold out, some of the crowd weren’t completely sold on them. Tonight feels like a proper excited, up-for-it crowd. Of course, Sorry never got the chance to tour their debut album. Released 27th March 2020, the second Friday of the first Covid lockdown, everything that should have happened surrounding the release couldn’t. All tours were cancelled or postponed. They were supposed to be playing a number of gigs at the end of 2021 but this was pushed back to accommodate the recording of the new LP. And here we are.

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Louis O’Brian/Sorry

Clearly, the time afforded by being imprisoned in our homes allowed the record to get under people’s skin, cuts like ‘Starstruck’, ‘Perfect’, ‘As the Sun Sets’, ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Star’ and ‘Lies’ are met with joyous abandon. It feels like an event; that Sorry have got to another level of the music industry mountain.

What made it extra special was that the new ones sounded big and fresh with a lighter touch in some cases. Whereas 925 could be dark, a bit seedy and melancholic, ‘Let the Lights On’, ‘Tell Me’, ‘Screaming in the Rain’, ‘Key to the City’ and, of course, newest single, ‘There’s So Many That Want To Be Loved’ were brighter, possibly a bit poppier. This wouldn’t be Sorry if there wasn’t still an edge to them though. ‘Closer’ was classic noir-soaked Sorry.

It was a testament to the crowd that they managed to arrive at all, even those within the capital couldn’t rely on the Tube. There didn’t seem to be surplus of attendees and it was probably because and not in spite of the public transport issues that everyone wanted to have a good time. That was never in doubt when Sorry take the stage but even they were outwardly delighted. More of all of this please. Except for all the shit bits outside of these walls right now. They can fuck off for good.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.