London four-piece Pearly sound like ‘Pablo Honey’-era Radiohead which, granted, isn’t the most thrillingly exciting first line in demo review history (they’re also quite possibly named after a Radiohead b-side). Fuzzy guitar-pop with a dark and sarcastic heart, on one song (‘Party Trick’) lead vocalist William Adnams sings “I’ll sing and sing until I’m sick/ Just as long as you’re entertained”, and you’re reminded of Pete Doherty’s similarly brilliant deconstruction of the band/audience relationship on ‘Killamangiro’ (“Why would you pay?/ To see me in a cage?”). It’s a valid reference as running through Pearly’s songs there’s also a hint of the swaggeringly wistful evocation of London life that The Libertines and their ilk had, alongside a restrained guitar squall that often sees the band threaten to really break loose.
Two weeks ago Pearly had ‘British Summertime(N18)’, the lead track on this demo, played on Radio1’s One Music slot. It must have been an especially sweet moment for a band who, on ‘The Ballad Of Les McQueen’, dream of the crowd’s roar, of performing to people who know each and every word to each and every song, all while playing guitar in front of a mirror.
Pearly play upstairs at The Garage in Highbury, London on Wednesday 18th May. A free copy of this reviewed demo can be found at their website, http://www.pearlyband.co.uk.