There was something apt about the whole occasion when Best Friends took to the stage at The Social on the night of Wednesday 25th February. The compact London venue hidden round quiet street corners within spitting distance of the bright lights of Oxford Circus was built with punk club, rock’n’roll chic in mind.
The Nottingham quartet certainly embraced the mood of the venue, launching straight into the high energy of opening track ‘Fake Spit’. Proudly displaying Dinosaur Jr reverbs, Best Friends dress the part with 90s Stephen Malkmus hair and faded Californian t-shirts. The riff of ‘Shred Til Your Dead’ and ‘Wasting Time’ recall The Cribs in their student union nights pomp and the harmonies of ‘Dude Love’ sound like Girls after a weekend bender.
For all their influences from across the pond, when you hear vocalist, Lewis Sharman implore ‘If you want it/Reach out and take it/And if you take it, try not to break it’ you can’t help but smile wryly at the traces of British pessimism.
Best Friends blast through their set hard and fast, with barely pause of breath or time to contemplate a song lasting more than three minutes. Even in such a small venue, where you can’t disappear into an embarrassed anonymity if you bump into someone and spill your drink down their back, a circle of pogo-ers nonetheless emerge and even a crowdsurfer too. In an age where indie pop guitar wielders are pushed to the peripheries of the charts, Best Friends are certainly one to catch sooner rather than later before their immediacy gets lost in bigger venues.