looks better than it sounds

a review of sunday girl (not the blondie song) i did for the fly:

Sunday Girl
The Garage, London
06/02/2011

Her namesake may be a first class pop song by Blondie but Sunday Girlhas picked synth over guitar and is more like Ladyhawke than Debbie Harry. Actually, she looks more like Mischa Barton from The OC doing a Chanel advert, but her music is supposed to be the focus tonight, so the details of her modelling/blogging/London Fashion Week DJing career can wait.

Taking the headline slot upstairs at The Garage on, funnily enough, a Sunday, she has a tough act to follow. The small crowd are still catching their breath after a hauntingly beautiful acoustic set by Emma’s Imagination, so when 22-year-old Jade Williams – Sunday Girl is a nickname from her days as a weekend assistant in a pet shop apparently – appears with a pair of unnaturally good-looking male guitarists wearing Italian suits, the crowd are caught off guard. The stage is decorated too, with a couple of carefully lit vintage display cases containing mounted butterflies, making the show look more like a Hugo Boss advert than a gig. But there is (a bit) more to it than just pretty faces. The band launch into a punchy guitar-backed synth feast and William’s soft, almost slurred, vocals lazily float above the music.

Opening track ’24 Hours’ is quickly followed by Sunday Girl’s Diplo-produced first single ‘Four Floors’, as the band charge through a short set with barely a moment for a “hello” or “thanks”. Her latest single – a cover of Laura Branigan‘s spooky 80s power ballad ‘Self Control’ – is quickly recognised by the crowd, but sadly falls rather flat being nowhere near as good as the original version. Sounding like a less-quirky Alison Goldfrapp means that Sunday Girl is not a bad musician and is actually quite pleasant to listen to live. But she blends in far too easily with the growing bunch of fashion-conscious female-lead pop acts doing the rounds right now. Her “scruffy Chanel” chic may have got her voted Company magazine’s ’19th coolest girl’ but for now she’s struggling to match that musically.

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