Home // Music // Review: Shine 2009 @ Oval Space, London 26/11/13
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Review: Shine 2009 @ Oval Space, London 26/11/13

It’s amazing that you never realise much you need something are before you get used to it. Opened in April 2012, Oval Space has quickly become one of London’s best gig venues; combining the intimacy and sound system brilliance of a club with an eclectic and intelligently-programmed schedule of events that you’d expect from somewhere that had been open like 18 years than 18 months. All that and it’s set in the heart of ‘trendy’ east London. Perfection. Anyway, tonight it provides the backdrop for one of my favourite bands of recent years, Shine 2009. I caught the Finnish duo on their first trip to the UK, up in the Barfly in Camden (remember Camden?) where they played some of their fantastically blissed-out Balearica to a handful of people. I loved it then, everything from the completely random Paula Abdul-guesting ‘So Free’ to the ambient samples that bookended the record, and live they managed to twiddle enough knobs and rework songs into an atmospheric night that’s stuck with me.

Tonight, at the much larger Oval Space, and opening for Cut Copy no less, they’re transcending to floorfillers. Except the floor isn’t full – they’re still a sleeper band, and have yet to have a breakthrough hit to reel in the crowds. It’s a shame, because the tunes that these guys are making are right up the street of the East London kinds: as perfect on a hungover summer trip to London Fields as they are for a chilly bus ride into the studio, Shine 2009 are making the kind of music that ought to be everywhere. So why isn’t it? I’m honestly not sure – maybe it is that lack of a breakthrough pop hit, maybe they’re just too cool for school, maybe it’s something else entirely; it’s often impossible to predict who’s going to blow up and who’s going to disappear. The thing with Shine 2009 is that, on the evidence of tonight’s set; aside from maybe needing a little work on their stage show (visuals would definitely be a good call), there’s no reason why they couldn’t be seeing the rivers of fans that happen as Cut Copy are about to take the stage. For now, they remain a cult classic – and it’s evidenced from the way they seduce the early crowd that there’s a lot of potential in them, and plenty more to come. Will 2014 be the year Shine 2009 get big? Who knows, but for now catch them while you can; they are nothing short of fantastic. And hopefully they’ll follow the same trajectory of success as the venue that hosted them.

-Seb Law

Read our review of Our Nation here

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