One new venue, two brand new bands and an eleven-strong line-up for Keith TOTP, it’s a triple header of pleasure on a cold night in King’s Cross.

First up is Gum, a three boy, one girl, line-up who build a fuzzy wall of guitar noise to hide their on-stage shyness behind. This is only their second gig, bless ‘em, so while their shyness is excused it’s really unnecessary; they could call themselves My Happy Valentine without fear of contradiction. Tonight the only thing they attack with confidence is the whammy bar but when Gum develop some teeth they could really me ones to watch, if shoe-gazing is your thing.

Live Review
Keith TOTP
w/ Ladies & Gentlemen, The Inevitable Pinhole Burns + Gum
@ Surya, London

Someone who doesn’t suffer from bashfulness is front man Jim Rhesus of second band
The Inevitable Pinhole Burns. He roars on stage, demanding attention like he’s the baddest boy in town.

The Burns’ songs are reminiscent of the politer end of the music spectrum: Weezer and Eels, yet Jim’s charisma is almost enough to convince you their reference points are far more vital. It’s only during their set closer when he lets rip and screams that you see a glimpse of the brilliantly terrifying band this could be if they dragged their gaze from their shoes to the stars.

Speaking of attention demanding, it takes a brave man to walk onstage in a black glittery feather boa but Steve Horry, formerly of 586, here tonight with Ladies & Gentlemen, has never been afraid of taking a risk. This is their first gig but

Horry confidently promises a Wednesday night party, and, when a party is this sleazy, frankly we’d love to come. At their best they’re reminiscent of This Is Hardcore era Pulp, crooning filthy nothings in

your ear and asking to sleep on your sofa. They could be tighter as sometimes the drums, flute, trumpet, keyboard, guitar, stand-up bass and voice (you heard) don’t gel together but we can excuse them some first time nerves.

“I’m going to teach my band new songs on-stage tonight,” Keith TOTP breezes before taking to the stage. Other musicians might find this terrifying but Keith has the luxury of being backed by ten pretty brilliant musicians.  The revolving line-up of his Minor UK Indie Celebrity All-Star Backing Band tonight includes members of Gay Dad, Carter USM and The Boyfriends and none of them look even slightly

fazed when Keith tells them, “This songs goes  B flat E… oh just come in on verse three.”

Their set tonight is especially raucous with Keith, perhaps as a result of Ladies & Gentlemen’s set, in

sex badger mode, frequently berating girls (all girls?) for making bad life decisions by not sleeping with him. Yeah, sorry about that Keith. But even when he’s tunefully telling you to fuck off or that he hates your band, Keith’s a charming and cheery front-man and it’s hard to think of anyone who could bring more Wednesday night joy to a bit of a weird venue in Kings Cross.

Review by Georgina Terry
Photography by Alex Paynter /