Native People, Coasts @ Thekla, Bristol, 31/05/2016

CoastsIt seems fitting that Coasts are going back to their roots and performing at Bristol’s indie capital, Thekla, tonight. Following a pretty long and successful run up to the release of their debut album in January, they’ve just finished a tour of America, not to mention performed on the set of Made In Chelsea and numerous UK festivals in the past two summers. Thekla has always been home to many an indie ballad so tonight will be no exception.

Support comes from Native People but the hour delay and their rushed demeanour hints at a bit of a mix up tonight. Twitter tells me it’s a last minute show (#maddashacrossthecountry) but their young charm and summery indie pop easily helps the crowd to forget the scheduling mix up. Although only 18, they seem to be developing a charming stage presence that suits their music style, and a supporting Coasts gig, like a stamp to a letter.

Before Coasts have even adorned the stage, there’s a gender divide with young women within arm's reach of the front and men towards the back of the room which feels childish. With a huge scream and cheers from the crowd on entrance, Coasts clearly have a loyal fan base in Bristol. The crowd are enjoying it but already there’s one thing that is completely ruining the gig for me: front man, Chris Caines.

You know when good looks completely go to someone’s head, and they just radiate arrogance? That’s what Chris Caines is like. Maybe it’s my slightly personal vendetta against arrogant front men but his mannerisms, the sweeping back of the long hair, the sips of water while shaking his hips just are all enough to make me feel a bit queasy, and it’s not because I’m on a boat. Just because you've heard some cheers, can jump around and lean back with your long flowing locks, doesn’t make you some kind of irresistible sex God.

Front man moan aside, it’s not just Chris Caines that’s disappointing but the huge amount of phones blocking the view to the front of the stage. Half the time, it wasn’t even photos of Coasts but selfies of themselves at a Coasts gig.

What has indie become? Must indie be confined to the annoying? Did I bring this on myself going to a Coasts gig? Were my hopes of looking for some 2014 nostalgia too high? Whatever happened in Thekla tonight, and with so many unanswered questions, I’m trying not to taint my perfect memory of Coasts songs being played at student nights at Bristol’s favourite indie joint.

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