The dark and dingy top floor of Camden’s Black Heart is full to the brim; brooding with an excitable crowd, preparing themselves for alt-rock trio, Berries.
Before long, the London-based group, comprising of Holly (vocals/guitar), Lauren (bass) and Lucie (drums), confidently and casually take to the stage.
After announcing, “we’re Berries”, they immediately pound into opener, ‘Sirens’. But they suffer a false start. On second try they come back stronger, screaming, “Hello Camden! We’re Berries”. They then deliver an explosive entrance into their set.
From the off, a lively discourse ensues between the group and it’s as though they’re feeding off each other. Berries are a kinetic force; although the space they have is sparse, they use it to its full potential. Holly and Lauren bound about the stage like it’s their warm-up ground – and ‘Faults’ proves that it’s just that. It shows us Berries’ sonic stage presence, as Holly dips and dives along with her fretwork, physically responding to the intonations of the instrument she masters.
Lauren simultaneously swings along with her effortless picking, while swishing her glorious auburn mane like a mature Merida; but instead of wielding a bow and arrow, she brandishes a bass.
Tracks like ‘Discreetly’ and ‘Stormy’ exhibit how energy is tantamount to their performance. Clearly, playing live is a euphoric endorphin release for Berries, and their facial expressions are all the evidence needed to confirm that.
Memorable melodies and thrashing rhythms are in abundance, and the crowd begin to show their appreciation with the arrival of next track, ‘Waiting’. Holly’s vocal dominates this tune and the crowd claps along to Lucie’s power punches until the track draws to a close.
‘Those Funny Things’ is a notable highlight and underpins Berries’ talent for combining witty lyrics with ear-worming hooks. There’s something riot-era-esque about this track, with its defiant vocal and insurgent chorus. The crowd is inspired in small doses, but each song is met with a rapturous applause that seemingly maintains the band’s hunger as each song is delivered with a dynamic drive.
‘Wild Vow’ is disguised as the band’s final track, and it’s indicative of Berries’ pursuit for a heavier direction. The track sees them go out with a substantial bang, only to be met by cries for “ONE MORE SONG!” from the audience.
The three-piece close the set with ‘Written In Paint’ – an oldie taken from their debut EP. The sounds bubble over in an eruption of aural particles, leaving a Camden crowd satisfied and stirred by a plethora of lively, exciting tunes.
Featured Image by Andras Paul.
Words by Alicia Carpenter.