Real Estate Live Review
London Scala - 06/12/11
It’s a cold, wet Tuesday night in December, yet inside London’s Scala there is a warm, summery vibe.
The legendary venue jostles with boys in regulation hipster uniform of checked shirt, glasses and beards, while the girls also wear checked shirts and glasses, but without the beards. I stand at the back of the venue with - it would seem - many plaid-clad boys and girls on dates. And what better place to have a date.
Real Estate are a band on the up. Days - their sophomore album - is at the business end of every best of 2011 list. And their ascendance has attracted a full house of indie music connoisseurs tonight.
There is a quiet reverence in the venue as the discerning crowd soaks up the Brooklyn band’s brand of jangly indie-rock.
The plaudits that Real Estate has garnered since the release of Days are fully deserved and live they are a very tight outfit. Guitarist Matt Mondanile (who also records as the excellent Ducktails) and singer/guitarist Martin Courtney spend the evening duelling intricate melody lines whilst Alex Bleeker’s bass adds a groove to the lo-fi indie songs that Real Estate perform so well.
Nostalgia and introspection are at the heart of Real Estate’s dreamy sound, and When played live such songs as Wonder Years and Out Of Tune perfectly evoke imagery of mellow weekends and aimless drives through leafy suburbs.
The crowd really comes to life for near-anthemic Green Aisles and indulges in something near to a rousing singalong to Stay Real’s infectious chorus.
The tonic of Real Estate’s sound is that it is uncynical, deft, feel-good music. It also encourages people on dates to smile longingly at one another, and make out - lots.
The appreciative crowd spend the evening nodding along; regarding the band’s material with as much veneration as their musicianship.
Leaving the Scala and heading out onto the sleek, wet streets of night-time Kings Cross one cannot help but feel warmed by the wistful quality of Real Estate’s dream-pop, whilst concluding that next time I have a date a copy of Days will be close to hand.