Capsule Review: ZULU WINTER @ The Rivoli (NXNE 2012)
London’s ZULU WINTER was a bit of an unknown quantity going into NXNE this year. With a recent signing to Arts & Crafts to release their debut LP Language in North America, NXNE 2012 marked the first time the band had ever come to Canada.
Selling out shows, dropping their debut album and generally being considered “kind of a big deal” back in their native UK, there was understandably a lot of interest in the band’s first Canadian performance at the Arts & Crafts showcase. So how was the show? Happily, I can report a solid rating of “pretty good.”
A mix between TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB and Toronto’s own BRAVESTATION, the band has also received a lot of comparisons to COLDPLAY, mainly for singer Will Daunt’s vocal similarity to Chris Martin. The music is upbeat, a little funky with sparkling synth and is especially strong on good, syncopated basslines – the band is commonly described as tribal-pop.
Regardless of their comparisons, they put on a good show. Being from England, they seemed to carry themselves just a bit differently, and exuded a fair amount of British charm. The band was tight, and the songs were strong and unique, although partway through I was wishing for just a tad more diversity in the tracks.
The show ultimately didn’t quite have that “X-Factor” that the buzz would lead one to believe, but it was a solid showing nonetheless. I’m sure you’ll only be hearing more about ZULU WINTER in the future; I’ll certainly be keeping them on my radar screen.