Having an attractive frontman is always going to be positive selling factor for a band – particularly when said frontman also possesses a smouldering Welsh accent too. However, Sunday night’s performance at Mono proved that Telegram are led by far more than an aesthetically pleasing semblance.
Opening the event were a local Cornish group with a celebrated reputation, The Isabelles. Admittedly, I’ve seen them execute performances with more dynamism and substance before, but supercilious crowd-heckling aside, the group warmed up the evening to a pertinent standard.
Next up came an act oozing with burgeoning anticipation. Rory Attwell, with his impressively portly CV, is generally known for his years contributing to Test Icicles, but Sunday night saw him exhibit his solo project, Warm Brains, with the aid of two band accomplices.
Winding experimental noise rock was the name of the game, and my brain was certainly warmed from the fiery and absorbing clamours that were protruded throughout the venue. You couldn’t exactly call Warm Brains’ music beautiful or enchanting, but watching an artist whose visions are plump with clarity and experimentation is a deeply attractive convention. He deserved the ovation that he received after his performance; what he didn’t deserve was to have his merchandise trampled on and stolen.
Headlining the evening were an Anglo-Welsh band that are posed to be a massive deal this year. Having seen rapturous reviews of Telegram and vinyls flooding each and every HMV, I had big expectancies for the foursome – and somehow they managed to exceed them.
Complete with enraptured audience members, the band conjured a world of futuristic psychedelic-rock chaos, which many of us didn’t want to leave. Flashing strobe lights only added to this adrenaline-soaked evening as the band demonstrated just why they’re picking up so much momentum.
Telegram’s sound to me seems vaguely familiar, yet I’m at a loss to justifiably compare them to any other group. Their unique qualities set them apart from other undeveloped bands who manage to claw their way to the top, and if any group merits phenomenal levels of success, then it’s Telegram.
With flawlessly coordinated harmonies and bountiful riffs it was impossible not to fall in love with their sound. But not only were the band nauseatingly talented, their attitude was humbling and gracious. They seemed genuinely stunned that so many people had turned up to see them on a Sunday night. They even stuck around after their show, hair compressed to their faces with sweat, so that they could sell merchandise and chat frivolously with the crowd. What a band. What a night.
Words by Keira Trethowan
Photography by Craig Taylor-Broad