Live at Cockpit on Monday, 22nd January 2007
Entering the barely packed side room at first glance this does not seem like the prime of Switches' domains, stage drab and atmosphere mellow. Yet emerging through the crowd come Switches, a pout here and a raised eyebrow there amongst the smirks and light heartedness of the band members as they climb the stage (all of three foot high).
In the midst of all the pre-packaged, mass produced factory line bands that are starting to clog up our airwaves, Switches are a breath of fresh air, new blood amongst the mass breeding grounds of regurgitated one minute indie-pop songs. Foot stomper, 'Message from yuz', a new wave, guitar grinding gem of a song opens the set and K.O's any doubts right there and then that this will be anything less than a bona fide performance. Singer Matt swaggers around the stage with his non-pretentious yet self confident attitude and charisma (not dissimilar to that of Ryan Jarman) before launching into 'Snakes And Ladders', arguably one of the best songs of the night, sordid glam rock with a punchy chorus riff, the vocals bearing close resemblance to early David Bowie. Every band has their song "for the boys and girls" as Matt puts it and 'Every Second Counts' is theirs, sounding his most passionate during vocal harmonies and snarls, amongst the drumming which is almost reminiscent of Yeah Yeah Yeahs' 'Maps'. Ending with Drama Queen, the bouncing rhythm entices Matt to wind his way through the crowds, teasing them with second glances and a foolhardy expression, leaving the audience wandering whether the song is written with the singer in mind.
So a slightly commodious gig proves nothing bad after all, it just augments the belief that a gig doesn't need hype (or some good old fashioned extensive championing by the NME) to be a hit. No truer words could be said then off their forum; "a lot of bands are bigged up with all the hype but don't have the songs to live up to it... the Switches have the songs".
Bring on the backlash of the underdog.