Switches's gig at the Hoxton Bar and Grill was opened by Be Be See, a loud Rock and Pop band with poor songs. As they were torturing the public's ears, it was hard not to notice their lack of dress sense. The difference of styles in their clothes could have made us believe Be Be See had just met. The girl playing the keyboard would have fitted better at the Proms while the lead singer looked like one of the main actors of That's 70's Show.
So we were all relieved when Switches finally came on Stage. The crowd gathered at HB and G cheered as Matt Bishop (lead vocals and guitar), Max Tite (bass), Ollie Thomas (guitar and backing vocals) and Jimmy G (drums), the four members of the London band started playing.
With influences ranging from David Bowie and Muse to The Beach Boys, the boys' songs have rhythm and great lyrics. They played tracks such as No Hero and Testify with so much enthusiastic energy it would have been hard not to follow and dance along.
As the first notes of Lay Down The Law echoed in the room, the public excitement was obvious. It is with this song that Switches first got noticed and scooped an NME Track of the Week.
Only 24 years old, Bishop, the lead singer is the most dynamic member of the band and showed both charisma and an ability to interact with his fans. In the front row, singing every word as if she had written them herself was a woman 15 or so years older than the rest of he crowd, who I speculated was one of the boys' mum. Lo and behold she turned out to be Mrs Bishop; Matt's mum. She told me that her son spent his teenage years listening to and writing music. I was unfortunately unable to gather any more information from her as the boys started playing another song and her attention turned back to them.
At the end of their gig, Switches came off stage and talked to their fans for a few minutes. This is unfortunately something they might stop doing as their popularity grows, but it was nice to see some artists caring about their public.
Switches proved they had the potential to become one of the big names of 2007 and we will hopefully see them coming back to the London scene in a bigger venue sometime soon.
Switches's next Single, Drama Queen will be released in January 2007