This may have been the single strangest gig I have ever seen. Last night I rolled out to see indie pop hopefuls Vega 4 at what may be the tiniest venue in London. The room seriously held about 40 people and it was in the basement of the building on the hottest day in weeks. The sound was excellent for the quartetís 35-minute acoustic set, but the packed-in humanity and daysí residual heat left everyone a sweaty mess. However, it was worth it, hearing this actís shiny pop gems in a stripped down form.
The crowd was literally three feet from the band and it may have only been a small gig, but these admirers put the fan in fanatical. The front twenty or so fans were all girls, screaming and taking photo after photo, many wearing homemade shirts or holding up homemade signs (ìVega Phwhoreî was my personal fave). The thing is, the bandís songs are worth it, combining Coldplay with Unbelievable Truth and a desire to rock just a bit, even in an acoustic setting. The set opener ìDrifting Away Violentlyî set the tone for the show, as the fanatics sang the song louder than frontman John McDaid, causing him to sing more softly and allowing the girls to lead the show. Many of the offerings shimmered on this sweaty evening, the balladry even more striking when shorn of the heavy edge. ìLove Breaks Down,î ìBetter Life,î and ìSingî all shone, literally begging for major radio play. During the final song, ìRadio Song,î McDaid asked everyone to sit down, and then walked into the middle of the crowd singing to and writhing on the ever-willing landing pad of females. However, it wasnít cheesy or creepy, it seemed heartfelt, a way to bond with these people who had just shared a special experience. Why this band isnít in the Coldplay or Travis stratosphere is beyond me, but with any luck, Iíll be able to say I saw them whenÖ