The Orwells last-minute pop-up show at the notorious Camden drinking-hole; The Black Heart had all the hallmarks of a chaotic affair. With no barriers and no security of note (bar their overworked tour manager, who was stood rather anxiously by the side of the stage) the night was set up to be a riotous affair.
Bounding on to the stage to the sound of Eminem’s ‘My Name Is’ armed with bottles of Becks and a mischievous glint in his eye, frontman Mario Cuomo wasted no time whipping the committal crowd into a frenzy. Clearly showing no ill-effects from their dual sets at Reading/Leeds over the weekend;The Orwells did what The Orwells do best, cause havoc!!
With a set, heavy in favour of tracks taken from their recent sophomore LP ‘Disgraceland, plus their customary short cover of The Foundations ‘Build Me Up Buttercup’ things were building up to a crescendo nicely, and when the Chicago-five piece unleashed early fan-favourite Mallrats on the upstairs roomm which was now resembling some sort of cheap-sauna, shit really did hit the fan. Mario was lost in the crowd for what seemed like most of the track and when he finally got back onstage, clothes torn and dis-shelved, he looked like he enjoyed it more than the crowd did.
And that’s the best thing about The Orwells, they can easily rock-up to any amount of mid-size venues around the capital and sell them out… But for all the right reasons, this is where they belong.
By Michael Jamison