It's hardly likely to disappoint, is it? Cram two of the UK's most buzz-worthy bands into a sold-out club, attempt ruthlessly to maximise the air-conditioning (albeit to rare success), and, naturally, both the heat on and off stage prevails to near overwhelming proportions.
Yet not that our two sets of entertainers this evening are of a disparate kind. Klang and The Futureheads are modern-day punk at its cutthroat, daring finest - spliced with talent over designer-mag sheen (even though the latter will try to latch on to both in a typically vulture-like mentality). Two groups we can believe in, acts unwilling to showcase a painful rehash of the uninspired.
First-on, and Klang are unstoppable. Where prior performances were both equally nagged and enlightened with an occasional lack of assurance, tonight there's a full-throttle assault to engage, enrage and compel the senses; songs segue seamlessly into one another, whether the pouting groove of 'Outside My Area' or debut-single growl of 'L.O.V.E.', and this is like prog-rock being hit over the head by both the rarely discarded concept of inconspicuous, lest approachable, songs, and a bass-heavy crumble of fuzzed-up Rickenbacker and rattling drums. Singer Donna Matthews exudes all the ragged class and cautious insistence that made her role in Elastica so primal. And now with Klang's similarly bankable Isabel Waidner and Keisuke Hiratsuka in toe, justifiably, it now seems a new enigma is set for fervent adoration and favourable name-checks.
A much-anticipated date with the Glastonbury Festival awaiting the following morning, it's a wonder The Futureheads are revelling so much amidst the intimacy of such surroundings... But then, maybe this is how it was always meant to be: frantic pop-eccentricities, Fugazi ferociousness - showcased to the converted in a venue no larger than a red-bricked shoebox...
Ah, but then that'd mean so many others are missing out. Whatever the environment you'd presume, it's conclusive: Sunderland's latest tipped quartet are captivating to the point of a headache. From the stomp of 'Le Garage', the thunderous drive of 'Robot' and classic riffage of 'Carnival Kids', they fail never. The band themselves are a show to watch - passionately gyrating on the spot, performing four-part harmonies within a northern brogue that's as adorable as it is naive. With a double-whammy head-butt surging the Television Personalities' 'The Picture Of Dorian Gray' into next 45, 'First Day', it becomes little wonder why the band are demanded more from. The fact they then decide to close on a b-side - and it's still intrinsically wondrous - merely demonstrates some kind of budding endurance for the years ahead.
Then the DJ's: a corruptible mash of the classic, contemporary and, well, tragic.A triumph behind, celebratory drinks are consumed, the temperature finally lowers, and the bands chin-wag openly with one another over either combo's mutual brilliance. And, with sets like these, they've got every right to.
View some artistic interpretations of the night's imagery:
Image-Credit: Jason Atomic