In recent years, Coasts, the Southampton-based indie six-piece band, have made impressive strides towards the realm of public awareness, perhaps finding what may be a ‘gap in the market’. However, this apparent gap may have been a result of the fact that the indie scene has moved on and is no longer a ‘scene’ at all; thus making Coasts a nostalgic nod to a bygone era as opposed to a band worthy of a place in the public awareness. Nevertheless, I went to check them out in London.
It was a bitterly cold Thursday evening when my wingman and I made our way to one of London’s most celebrated gay clubs: Heaven. Tonight, however, it would instead play host to throngs of excitable fourteen-yearold girls and one, solitary out-of-place journalist (and his wingman) when ‘Indie Rockers’ Coast eventually took to the stage.
Despite earlier reservations about their live performance, I was pleasantly surprised to hear them start up en sync and as tight as a six-piece could be. Their instrument levels were as one would hope and while Heaven’s sound system wasn’t quite angelic (pun intended), but it did them justice.
Oddly, Coasts decided to play what is perhaps their best song, ‘Stay’, third in their set. Regardless of this perceived oddity, they had a large chunk crowd bouncing and when Paul Eastham (lead vocalist) signalled for the crowd to clap along, they dutifully clapped as well. It was all very nice, but what does ‘nice’ mean? They had nice, uniformly structured songs, nice-sounding guitars and their monosyllabic name is as nice and indie as it gets. With all due respect, Coasts is a perfectly formed, ideological indie-invariant cliché and, in my opinion, ten years too late to be of any significance.
The thing that killed their gig at Heaven was their announcement: “This is our new song…never played live before”. I was momentarily intrigued but that was short-lived when they continued: “And it’s called ‘Modern Love’!” Bloc Party happens to be my favourite indie band and their song, ‘Modern Love’, also happens to me my favourite song of theirs. I’m not saying Coasts ripped off Bloc Party, I’m just saying that they might be stepping on haloed ground (and I’m not talking about the stage of Heaven at Charing Cross). Amen.
A much-too-late, ‘Indie’-terminate 4 out of 10!