I arrived during the support act, John and Jehn, who had seemed good from their MySpace, but turned out to be rather serious and boring. I spent most of their set wondering if their names are actually John and Jehn, or John and Jen, or Jon and Jen, or even something entirely different. The girl was cool, but very much lacking in jolliness. After they finished I did a bit of people-watching, and was excited to overhear the girls next to me speaking Swedish. Brighton has a large Swedish population (well, far more than you’d expect from a country of 9 million), so this was no surprise to me. I also spotted two girls who I decided, without even looking around, must be the coolest in the room, and I knew they must be Swedish too. Sure enough, I was right – they turned out to be members of Those Dancing Days!
Although they’re a group of 5 young girls (in school when they began the band), I doubt Those Dancing Days were influenced by the Spice Girls, and they’ll certainly never be compared to Girls Aloud. I realised as I was waiting for the girls to appear that I haven’t seen any bands before which are all girls and in the traditional band set-up, except for the end of a set by Blood Red Shoes at last year’s Latitude Festival. It’s quite shocking, really, but then I don’t tend toward bands in that set-up regardless of gender, so it doesn’t bother me that men are associated with it.
What also sets TDD apart from Girls Aloud is their great style and natural beauty. The keyboard player (who never stopped smiling and dancing) and singer (with her huge afro) are both ten times prettier than anyone on Britain’s Next Top Model. The others may not be stunners, but that’s only by the very high Swedish standards, and they are still stunningly cool. Being real life friends, each with their own individual style, it was easy for me to imagine myself being up there with my friends, although I’d never manage to look ace enough to fit in with TDD… and there’s the small problem of my lack of musical talent, too. My favourite non-musical moment of the night was when keyboard player Lisa made a mistake and the girls all got the giggles together – you could tell they are real friends, and at the moment they were so much more identifiable than any super-professional, immaculately-dressed talent show winner or similar. If nothing else this group are very endearing.
Those Dancing Days are a band with one song, Hitten, which really stands out above the rest, but we can’t say they didn’t warn us, since it’s title translates to English as The Hit. It was a big hit with me, one of my favourite tracks of 2007, and still it sounds great with every listen. They also have one other very good song, named the same as the band, and the rest were all enjoyable. If you’re a real pop kid who quivers at even the sight of a guitar (and this is no bad thing to be), you’d be better off sticking with the Pipettes, but if like me you like some variety in your music, while retaining catchiness and cuteness, TDD are the band for you!
It took me 16 months to get to see TDD live, but it was definitely worth the wait. Next up on my gig list is Lykke Li, who I’ve seen supporting Shout Out Louds but not as the main act before, and not in the UK either, so it should be a fun experience. I have an extremely important exam the next day so I doubt there’ll be a review right away, but maybe the next day.