GIG REVIEW – Charlie Indestructible at Buffalo Bar 06/08/13

When Charlie Indestructible arrive on stage later as the third act of the night it was an air of familiarity.

Looking at each of the five members of the band it is easy to imagine them at school together, and yet despite this the band has an incredibly professional sound; the sound of a group who are practiced and engaging.

Each song is well crafted, a warming contrast of slower verses and rousing choruses, the sincerity of the band’s lead singer obvious from his manner on stage and his warm banter between songs. With a smile, he asks if the audience enjoyed Our Man in the Bronze Age and whether they were looking forward to God Damn, who would be taking the stage after them.

It is clear that the camaraderie evident in the way the band present themselves is not something limited to them alone but something that they extend to everyone else in the venue. It is almost like an invitation to join their gang, to dispense with elitism and join together with them.

His actions are expressive, his smile warm and his face carrying clearly over the audience and whilst their opening song felt as if it might have needed a tiny more direction, it is impossible to fault the band regarding their dedication.

Sonically speaking the guitars and overall sound are something akin to Paramore’s RIOT! record, a mix of forceful guitars, sincere words and engaging songs. Each one of the songs performed has the air of something that has been painstakingly assembled, a work that it is well practiced, forged in the doing.

It is this sense of practice that maybe lends itself to Charlie Indestructible’s sense of unity.

As the lead singer calls out during the closing song, “Tonight we dance in circles,” there is the feeling that whatever frustration and anger such words may once have been born from has long since passed.

The act is cathartic; alchemy engrained in the act of the craft and the performance and this is the very strength of the band and their enthusiasm is apparent as at one point, both guitarists leave the tiny stage of the Buffalo Bar and invade the audience area, whirling wildly about as one of them ditches his instrument towards the end of the set and casually strolls off into the sound of reverb and feedback.

Charlie Indestructible are that most rare breed of bands, a group that wish to include their audience in the sound and event of the evening rather than drawing a partition between them. They are friendly and approachable and their sound plays out well in the tiny subterranean space of the Buffalo Bar, its doorway hidden next to the Famous Cock Tavern and all but opposite Highbury and Islington station.

If there is a downside to this it is the danger that they will not evolve, that they will not challenge each other but instead continue to settle for this level rather than aiming higher yet as we ascend the stairs and meet the warm night air and the clouds of cigarette smoke, our ears still ringing, it is with a rewarding feeling.

Charlie Indestructible are the band you want to be your friends.

You might want to buy them a drink and say thanks.


Jacob Milnestein


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