FFO: south london-based quartet talk show
Having been dubbed "a force of nature" by Clash Magazine, Talk Show - doubtlessly one of the most exciting bands to break through the London music scene in the last couple of years - make it difficult to deny their momentum. Their debut EP, These People, was released earlier this year, and has been on constant rotation in my apartment since, an enormous part of the soundtrack to my self-isolation. I'm certainly late to the game - I'm not going to pretend I'm not riding the coattails of everyone in the UK indie scene who's been backing this band for a year - but I'm putting my voice behind them, now, too. Better late than never, eh?
To say that 2019 was an enormous year for Talk Show would be the understatement of the century - they set venues alight (only metaphorically, of course) all across the UK, becoming the talk of live music fans and industry professionals (esp. music magazines like homegrown legends Clash, DIY, and Dork) alike.
Talk Show's very first track, "Fast and Loud," was just that and so much more. That sharp riff that runs throughout the song had me scouring my brain for somewhere I'd heard it before, as if it was almost too good to be in any band's debut single. The rest of their discography cements what I'd already been thinking: that Talk Show are an incredible band. And that's not by coincidence. Well, it kind of is, considering the four of them met by chance, and were performing in front of Felix White (of Macabees and Yala! Records fame, who decided he wanted to release the track himself) by chance, but it really does seem like fate brought them together. There's a reason their social media presence isn't overwhelming - they've spent their time since forming the outfit writing, recording, playing live, and essentially building credibility in the real world rather than online. They've been putting in an insane and impressive amount of work, and it's paying off.
In an interview with DIY Magazine, lead singer Harrison Swann said, "Our thing when we first started was that we're not going to bother getting something recorded and slapping it on SoundCloud just for the sake of it...We're going to gig, and that's how we're going to start the band, and do it as much as we can; for us it's the most fun. We just had a mindset from the start that it's got to be fun and if we don't enjoy it then it's not worth it. We're never going to be one of these bands that stand at the front and act all serious, like 'Oh yeah, we're so fucking cool wearing sunglasses'. It's not us. We're a bit stupid. It's fun to have a big live show and have a laugh with it. We'll catch each other on stage and be like, 'No, we're not playing hard enough. Harder, harder, harder!'"
But the magic of this band doesn't only lie within their live performances; their music is innovative in the sense that they clearly haven't committed themselves to one single genre, an overall atmosphere of post-punk interlaced with an implied afflinity for experimentation. Despite this affinity, it doesn't seem at all like they're still questioning who they are, in any sense. This band know exactly what they're about.
If you're a fan of post-punk - and of the incredible revival of the genre that we're living through right now - you'll love Talk Show. They sound good on a playlist with Do Nothing, Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard, and IDLES, but I suggest listening to their music in chronological order to really get a feel for their growth first.
You can find These People on all streaming platforms, and you can buy a physical copy of the EP as well, if you decide you like them enough, which I think you will. They're a very amiable band. Talk Show themselves can be found on Twitter and Instagram.