Sound Control, Manchester // Wednesday, August 31
Every now and again, a band comes seemingly out of nowhere already armed with a canon of sure-fire hits and an army of loyal fans.
It happened with The 1975 a few years back and now it’s happening to the oh-so-cool LANY, a California trio whose knack of writing glorious, soulful pop bangers has made them a Pretty Big Deal across the internet.
Tonight, the palpable excitement masks the musty smell of this heaving basement venue as a sold-out crowd gently swells to the front of the stage. The audience is mainly made up of teenage girls – really driving home the fact that we’re the wrong age and wrong sex to be just as thrilled to be at the band’s first UK headline tour.
We caught LANY at Leeds Festival only a few days before, and they truly won us over with a short and sweet set of their biggest tunes. Tonight, they’re on stage for well over an hour, pretty much exhausting their back catalogue and even manage to squeeze in a couple of new tunes.
Their synth-pop is drenched in joyous nostalgia, a sound once made fresh by boybands who are now likely fathers themselves, as smooth R’n’B vibes pulse with jittery keys and 80s guitars.
Singer Paul Jason Klein switches between guitar, keyboard and sample pad at the front of the stage, joined by producer Les Priest to his left and percussionist Jake Goss (dressed like he’s just come out of a karate class) bringing up the rear.
But all eyes are on Klein as he manages to evoke giddy whoops with every flick of surfer-curly hair, looks of reluctancy flash across his face every now and again – his modesty defies his ridiculous good looks.
A chunk of LANY’s appeal lies in the Hollywood boy-next-door romanticism, as Klein serenades the excitable girls screaming from under a sea of mobile phones.
“You are my favourite everything,” he admits on the very lovely Pink Skies. “Shut up, I love you, you are my best friend” he adds.
“Turn off the lights, come and lay with me. Write your name on my hand, just like we’re 17,” is sung back to him as Made In Hollywood kicks in with drum-machine percussion snapping under the lazy melodies.
Things get a bit hotter on Youarefire: “Can’t keep my hands to myself, when you’re in that push-up bra…” It’s not quite the sex and drug use The 1975 seem to get away with, but it can’t get too wholesome, now, can it?
This may all seem a little cringy if it weren’t for the fact that these tunes are seriously slick. A rush of synths, smooth-as-hell vocals and pulsing, playful sonics, LANY’s sound is tantalisingly sugar-coated, close to perfect pop.
Its going to be great seeing where this band go from here. They’re back next year and will be heading to bigger venues – by which time, their fan base will have no doubt grown to suit another sell-out tour.