The Pistolas

The Dublin Castle, Camden, London

> The Dublin Castle, Camden, London

EDP Next Big Thing winners the Pistolas have taken another step in their musical career with their debut London gig.

The Norwich four-piece – who won the regional music contest in November – began their assault on the capital with a gig at one of London's best unsigned showcases, which has a long history of helping new bands from The Clash onwards.

The Pistolas' brand of straightforward – albeit hyperactive – rock and roll is, on the face of it, following the trail of the likes of The Strokes and the Hives.

Such preconceptions, however, sell them short.

Simon Buller is a practised frontman: all knock-kneed histrionics one minute, and fey, 'I'm a little teapot' indie-boy camp the next, his baleful stare a perfect foil for bassist Naomi Cousins' impenetrable sang-froid.

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Drummer Lee Bowyer and guitarist Paul Dewbery complete the band admirably, but it's Buller who does most to excite here.

The well-trodden boards of the Dublin Castle seem ill-equipped at times to contain his undeniable star quality.

By the time the band play their closer, Listen, Listen, Buller has climbed the speaker stack.

Spotlit against the venue's make-do-and-mend backdrop, you can only guess at whether he is aware of the unspoken consensus in the crowd that this is a band that are already too big for gigs like this.

Though straying into slightly derivative waters musically at times, the Pistolas should have A&R men banging on their door very soon indeed.

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