BOY @ The Borderline 14th May 2011

Valeska Steiner and Sonja Glass make up the Swiss/ German band BOY. A friend of mine recommended this duo to me thinking they were to my taste and he was absolutely right. The moment he mentioned them I took to Youtube and came across Little Numbers which was the perfect blend of infectious pop music. I arrived outside the venue at 5pm and was listening to the début album Mutual Friends on the iPod. The majority of the audience were European due to the fact that they have a big following over there. This was the BOY’s first headline show and as expected I was left impressed with the need to hear more.

The evening started with another duo from Hamburg and this being Hundreds. This duo consisted of both Brother/ Sister Phillip and Eva Milner. Back in 2010 they released self titled début LP Hundreds and this set was mainly a showcase. Opening up this short 6 song set was Please Rewind which sounded wonderful. Eva had a stunning vocal range and I look forward to hearing the mastered version of this song. From Fighter onwards the tracks that were showcased were taken from the album Hundreds. Fighter sounded slightly dub step to begin but Eva came in just under 2 minutes later. The song opened up with the line “This Is Such A Waste Of Time”. This was an steady paced song which gets better whilst the song progresses. It was then onto Song For A Sailor and this was slightly hypnotic and the vocals were perfect. The thing I most liked about this beautiful number is you can picture what’s happening from its lyrics. Happy Virus was a upbeat song which was delivered to perfection. The memorable lyric from this song being “We Live In Happy Little Boxes, Celebrate Shopping All Day Long, Back Home We Drink Our Sky Blue Liquids, A Taste Of Life On Our Tongue”. About 2 minutes into this song Eva broke into an energetic dance. Straight after it was onto Let’s Write The Streets which was very mellow and Eva’s vocals were faultless. “The next song will be our last song. We would like to thank BOY and their whole crew for taking us to Hamburg and we want to thank our crew” Eva then mentioned to the audience. Grab The Sunset started off very laid back and then the synths made an appearance then it got stronger. The lyrics were brilliant and they were delivered spectacularly. I most definitely would like to see Hundreds again.

SET LIST

Please Rewind
Fighter
Song For A Sailor
Happy Virus
Let’s Write The Streets
Grab The Sunset

Valeska Steiner, Sonja Glass and the rest of the band took to the stage around 9.15 and opened with the gentle Drive Darling. This was a piece of pop perfection and had lovely soft verses which were delivered perfectly by Valeska Steiner.  Waitress was immediately played after and its lyrics were very clear cut as it told the story of a waitress. My favourite part of this number had to be the vibrant chorus. This song actually reminded me of Regina Spektor. “Hello, It’s so good to be here. This is our 1st real show of our own in London and we can’t believe how many people came. It makes us very happy” Valeska said before Oh Boy. This song was about boys who fall in love with the wrong girl. It was actually very pacey and had wonderful verses/ chorus. “We’re very happy that our band arrived because they had a 15 hour drive all the way from Hamburg. The next song is about friendship” Valeska mentioned to the sold out audience. I found Army to be very whimsical. This number had excellent verses and a soothing infectious chorus. “So is everyone of you really from London born and raised? Brazil wow what an international crowd. I moved to Hamburg about 5 years ago to be with Sonja and write songs with her. I’m really homesick sometimes. So there’s a lot I miss about Switzerland, about my home but I’m glad there’s a few things I don’t miss at all” Steiner then said before Boris. The thing I liked about this song was the fact there was a true narrative. Basically the lyrics made you picture the whole scene. Valeska’s boyfriend was out of town and Boris was making moves on her. This was a lovely dosage of indie pop. “So it’s a real pity because we actually have to go back to Germany right after the show at 11pm or something. The next song is about bad parties and about coming home from a party and feeling a bit lonely” Steiner then said to the audience. Again like Boris, Skin had a narrative to it. This song was faultlessly delivered and its lyrics were spot on. Railway then followed right on. Before they started to play you had the sound of trains playing on the PA. I really liked the lyrics to this steady paced song. “Are you all having a good time? We’re playing a little lullaby now” Valeska said to the audience before getting stuck into July which is the closing song on début album Mutual Friends which is released next month. This number was very soothing and entrancing at the same time. The lyrics were extremely clear and beautiful. “We’re playing the next song for everyone who has done something brave in the last few weeks. Like moved to London for example” Steiner said prior to This Is The Beginning. This had to be one of my favourite songs from Mutual Friends. I found the chorus to be very sleek and also its verses were infectious at the same time. This song was about moving to somewhere new and this is the beginning of your new start. “We’re playing one more song. It’s about waiting for a call in desperate need” Valeska told the audience before ending with Little Numbers. Everything about this song was contagious both lyrics and melody were amazing. This was a feel good number which felt rather reminiscent of Feist. The verses were up tempo whilst the chorus was rather mellow. So the band went off stage only to return second later for the encore. “So this one is serious. It’s funny because the album has not even come out in the UK yet but it’s going to come out in June. This next song is a very new song that is not even on the 1st album so it’s going to be on the 2nd album” Valeska then said before treating the audience to Hotel. This song was different because it was just Steiner and Glass on vocals/ guitar. Like quite a few songs that were sung this night, you can clearly picture the story when listening to the lyrics closely. Hotel actually felt rather gentle and the vocals were stunning. “We’re going to play a song now about driving” Valeska said to the audience before launching into something ever so special this being Drive Darling (Reprise). Hearing this song acoustically was rather chilling as it sounded so soothing and the harmonising was spot on. Once they left the stage they yet again returned with the rest of the band. They explained they would like to have played another song but had a bus to catch. They all took a bow and what had been an extraordinary night was over.

SET LIST

Drive Darling
Waitress
Oh Boy
Army
Boris
Skin
Railway
July
This Is The Beginning
Little Numbers

ENCORE

Hotel
Drive Darling (Reprise)

OVERALL: This evening was top. Both support and headline acts were superb. I would most definitely see Hundreds and BOY again in the future. BOY was a contagious confection of bubble gum pop music. There was not a single bad song on the night. I especially liked Little Numbers as it was a light feel good number which was also extremely infectious at the same time. Also Sonja’s harmonising was superb.

As for Hundreds all the 6 songs were amazing but my favourites have to be Happy Virus and Grab The Sunset.

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