It's always a promising sign when a gig is busy before the support has even come on. After a stunningly sunny Friday, spirits are high, and the crowd at Bodega are ready for a show, and heck do they get one.
Seven-piece band itoldyouiwouldeatyou meander onto the stage fashionably late. The room, as well as the small squished stage, is full to the brim with a captivating and innovative punk/emo sound. Loved and welcomed by the crowd, front people Joey and Josh's vocals are a powerhouse of angst and emotion, compulsory elements of any band of this genre. That said, their crowd chat interspersed between songs reveals a quirky, adorable side to the group. Their songs are lengthy and complex, and their performance raw. They finish their set on a clearly deeply personal masterpiece. Joey climbs off the stage and sits on the floor of the venue, captivating the crowd with a profound, sincere spoken word and vocal performance. Needless to say the crowd are stunned and impressed.
After the last few people arrive, the room is keenly anticipating headliners Queen Zee - the front row lined with younger fans sporting all the band merch. Further back the hipster millennials group in the middle, and the older rockers line the outskirts of the venue. A multitude of generations and groups, brought together to pay witness to an 'unavoidably loud force for good'.
Kicking off with Loner, Queen Zee set the precedent for the rest of their set: total conviction over their performance, a continuous formidable energy, and a lot of sass. It is evident they have gigged extensively, and have honed their craft until they have mastered it. It is hard to believe they only released their debut album earlier this month, and you can tell from the atmosphere that it was a long time coming.
Every tune is an anthem in its own right, something Queen Zee have a real knack for. The crowd in particular can’t get enough of Boy, which lead singer Zee dedicates to the LGBTQ+ community, who feature heavily in their music. Playful with the audience, Zee utterly owns the stage tonight whilst being relatable and witty; a truly winning combination. It is no wonder Queen Zee have such a cult fan base - they captivate you with their music, yet also laugh and have fun with you. When a front person can get off stage and successfully get the crowd of a rock gig to ballroom dance with each other, you're onto a winner.
It is safe to say Queen Zee excel on every level, from their music to their live performance. They are a band certainly for all of the LGBTQ+ community, highlighting queer issues in their music, for old style rockers, who turned up in their multitude, and anyone in between, looking for an all round great time.
Queen Zee and itoldyouiwouldeatyou played The Bodega on Friday 22 February.
When American indie/garage rock band Smith Westerns broke up in 2014, guitarist Max Kakacek and drummer Julien Ehrlich formed Whitney. Their debut album – a collection of beautiful west-coast, end-of-summer, washed-out colour seventies rock – was released earlier this year. Now, their UK tour brings them to a sold-out Bodega...