The City Joy Cons

Queen Charlotte, Norwich

Simon Parkin

The City Joy Cons

Queen Charlotte

The return of the synth continues apace. Blokes at keyboards haven't been as fashionable on the non-dance music scene since the eighties, and this four-piece are further evidence.

Formed three years ago by college mates they specialise in a hybrid of indie rock, pop melodies and full-on electro, thanks to Chris on “bass synth” and Clarky on “lead synth”.

The electronic route came from a desire to make something fresh, interesting and worthwhile listening to. Chris invested in a Micro Korg, and they found themselves exploring the world of synthesizers and mixing their new-found electronic edge to modern power-pop.

Most Read

Strangely though, the results, on this evidence, aren't that dissimilar from many non-synth wielding outfits. Forget Kraftwerk or Gary Numan, the sound is more pop-punk than electro.

Lead vocalist/guitarist Scott, in his retro cardigan/tie combo, is stage-front bashing out chords, trilby-hatted drummer Johnny does the beat, while the synth boys use them like non-string guitars, with just the occasional electro add-on.

The songs are pretty catchy, packed with melody and topped with Scott's soaring high vocals. You certainly cannot fault their effort or drive.

They throw themselves into it at 100mph, despite a relatively meagre audience. Overall it's promising, albeit lacking a little in the way of musical diversity.