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AAA Music | 25 May 2024

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The Keys @ Dublin Castle

| On 02, May 2011

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London, 26th April

Tuesday night at Camden’s The Dublin Castle, and people were rather thin on the ground. In fact as I arrived I overheard one of the support bands’ lamenting the lack of atmosphere. It’s an unfortunate rite of passage for bands to play at sparsely attended nights but I often find it can prove a very effective measure of true talent. The majority of bands can appear reasonably good in a packed, dancing room, but to play well on a slow night is something else.

Cardiff’s The Keys are a psych-rock four piece. They played through various song from their soon to be released full length ‘Bitten By Wolves’. Also as they said “this is a headline slot” so they played through a few older tracks.

‘Fire Inside’ is a very 1960s piece of jangley rock ‘n’ roll that makes you want to dance round the room like a loon.

‘Everybody’s Got Something To Hide’ is a simple yet exciting, aggressive anthem that I would have loved to have seen a bigger crowd yelling along to.

At times the band sound like the classic rock ‘n’ roll bands that have clearly influenced them, but on other track they are reminiscent of Peal Jam or even something far more contemporary.

The band are tight and play well, even adding in banter between songs. The small crowd is defiantly receptive and warms to them.

‘You Should Have Grabbed Her While You Had The Chance’s cheeky garage rock reminded me of more recent successes such as Jet and Arctic Monkeys. This suggests that the defiantly is an audience for them out there, but is it a market already over-saturated with classic throwback lad rock? Well the band may find this a problem but I feel that the breadth of influences on their sound might carry them through.

Whether the band make a big success of it or slip into obscurity may simply be the luck of the draw. And with Alex James and the late great Joe Strummer apparently being admirers, it seems things are going their way.

The Keys certainly didn’t set my world alight but I had a fun evening and they’re defiantly worth looking up if rock ‘n’ roll’s your thing.

Author & Photos: Laura Oliver