“It’s good to be back in Camden”, declared Mazes’ singer Jack Cooper to the Barfly crowd at last Thursday’s gig. The band played a raft of songs from their debut album ‘A Thousand Heys’, and Cooper’s dry sense of humour was very much in evidence as he chatted away to the audience, asking if Paul Weller or The Libertines were in attendance.
Without a setlist, Cooper’s repeated requests to his band-mates as to which track to play next made him appear a little off-the-ball at times, but his super-relaxed stage persona belied his incisive lyric-writing, as the opening to ‘Surf and Turf’ proved, “I step off trains and wave like The Beatles at JFK”. The words ‘lo-fi’ and ‘slacker pop’ are bandied around a lot with regard to Mazes’ sound, but it’s the witty lyrics plus some infectious guitar hooks that are really at the heart of their live appeal.
The audience lapped up Mazes’ unique songcraft, with ‘Most Days’ and ‘Go Betweens’ getting them really dancing. The recent single ‘Summer Hits or J+J Don’t Like’ was also a crowd-pleaser with its catchy bass line, and when Cooper announced ‘Wait Anyway’ a ripple of excited anticipation went round the room.
This was a short but sweet headline show from a band that is gaining an appreciative following for their dynamic and idiosyncratic sound.
Words and pictures: Amanda Penlington.
The Camden Store Team X.