Gladboy at Waterfront Studio 29/10/2018
More of an experience than a gig, Majic Carpet’s Waterfront Studio appearance was a spooktacular bonanza. The launch party for Gladboy’s EP Egopushin’, the Norwich-based five-piece were supported by Bull, Bag of Cans, and Strip Mall.
Opening the night, newcomer strip mall brings her lo-fi bedroom pop to the stage with quiet confidence and ascertained charisma. Running through her impressive discography for such a small artist, strip mall’s latest LP, released in July, is the centrepiece of the performance. There’s a muted but self-assured tinge to the set, and she opens the evening efficaciously.
A wild contrast in style and presentation, Norwich’s Bag of Cans take their turn to light up the stage. They have an undeniable stage presence, led seamlessly by frontman George through their tongue-in-cheek Libertines-tinged style. With a song dedicated entirely to spotlighting each band member, the quintet’s combined showmanship makes their set an energetic, dynamic, and endlessly entertaining one.
Third on-stage is York band Bull, one of two bands tonight that Majic Carpet has worked with already. Bull are another act with an insatiable live energy, and tonight is no different. Launching into their hit-packed set, the four-piece spread their warmth throughout the Waterfront Studio. ‘Green’ is their most well-received performance, and for good reason--the quartet shoot for the stars during this performance.
By the end of the night, the crowd is both satisfied and craving the headliner--Gladboy. UEA’s own wonky-rock band, the audience is split between UEA students and Norwich locals, but the division isn’t noted once Gladboy take the stage. There’s electric commentary in-between songs from the band, and there’s a sense of chemistry between the members that has only heightened since the last time they featured on a Majic Carpet billing. The band play a mix of new songs, old, and unreleaseds, and it feels natural throughout; the band are clearly having a ball playing. Frontman George has a way of enchanting the crowd, and there are moments between the band and the audience that feel almost intimate. Gladboy have stormed onto the Norwich live music scene in a year, and tonight shows that they have something special. A tinge of psych, a tinge of ‘60s bubblegum, and a tinge of scuzzy bass is a complete success for Gladboy.