The Spook School / Chorusgirl / Joyce Delaney @ Nice n Sleazy, 6 Dec

Live Review by Duncan Harman | 08 Dec 2015

Jangle pop’s detractors have always had it wrong, the well-worn dismissals (fey; ineffectual) failing to comprehend the strong seam of egalitarianism such music celebrates; the willingness to face sexual politics head on. Tonight very much being a case in point – for however unpolished Glasgow duo Joyce Delaney are, Chrissy (guitar) and Nyla (bass) full of nervous chatter between tracks, theirs is a set loaded with short, snappy, deliciously foul-mouthed rumbustiousness, never scared to trail pertinent thoughts.

Chorusgirl’s Silvi Wersing admits that keeping up the level of chat will be a challenge – but with such sprightly, Gatling gun indie pop up her sleeves, this is never a problem. With their self-titled debut LP fresh in the stores, the London-based four piece have been making waves of late, and it’s easy to see why, the subtle melancholia of Shivers begetting the savvy catchiness of recent single Oh, To Be A Defector, Silvi’s soft German accent adding layers of intrigue to their perky, sunny sound, as if Nena (of 99 Red Balloons fame) fronted Martha and the Muffins.

The Spook School, meanwhile, can be forgiven for being demob happy – it’s the end of a long tour, after all (and drummer Niall, stripped to the waist again, seems mischievously concerned that he’s pocketed a member of the audience’s house keys). Not that their headline slot is in any way perfunctory – the self-confessed queer DIY pop punks are far too canny for that. It’s the multi-directional focus of the shared vocals, the interplay between guitars, the questions posed around gender and sexuality (Binary in particular is both rousing and deeply intelligent), the tracks from recent LP Try To Be Hopeful full of nuance. In other words, about as far from fey and ineffective as it's possible to be.