It was a sad day when beloved London punk band, thee Spivs split, but much to the pleasure of London punk fanatics, former Spivs members, Ben Edge and Steve Coley have re-emerged with a new band—the Electric Pencils.
I started hearing chatter of the new project back in October, but didn’t much know what to expect. When word got out that the Electric Pencils were going to be a two-piece band, there seemed to be murmurs of disappointment. People often hold low expectations for two-piece ensembles, but after witnessing their live performance at Garageland on February 13 I can safely say that they’ve put those speculations to rest.
The charisma that seasoned vocalist, Ben Edge, exudes when performing makes the Electric Pencils a completely captivating and engaging pair. They successfully entranced the crowd and filled the room with the pulse of music and the thunking sound of feet on the floor.
Energy flowed from their guitar strings and drumsticks all the way to the back of the bar, as boys and girls jumped, stamped and thrashed their way through the packed dance floor. The rapid body movements, jovial looks and screaming of the crowd stood as a testament that the Electric Pencils had successfully gone above and beyond expectations.
The floor was so packed that the thrashing bodies easily shoved show goers into the surrounding equipment and bar areas, with our venerable Garageland ringleader, Spike, climbing onstage behind the band to escape the chaos.
The closer one went towards the band, the more the stench of sweat increased. Sweat seeped through their shirts and gleamed on their foreheads, as they tirelessly and enigmatically strummed and howled from start to finish. The crowd was absolutely captivated and they greeted the end of each song with a bounding of screams and claps. When the set ended, the crowd demanded an encore. I don’t think anyone left the venue disappointed that night.
I’ve lived in London for five months now. I’ve attended Garagelands almost every month since my move. This is the first time I’ve personally experienced such a turnout. Though it was the bands first gig, before songs ended, crowd members could be seen humming along to the beat of the chorus. I tend to find most two-piece ensembles to be a bit “meh,” so I was really surprised as to just how much I enjoyed this band. I left the gig feeling like I really needed another shower, and with the distinct feeling that I’d definitely be seeing the Electric Pencils again.