Straight Lines at Hevy 2011

Straight Lines used their Hevy platform really well. Having heard of this lot when they visited the capital recently, I had actually given some of their stuff a listen online and was only left with a distinct impression of indifference at the time. Could there be anything worse? Nobody wants to be like a Rich Tea biscuit.

It was with an expectation to be underwhelmed that I made my way to check out Straight Lines at the Rock Sound & Macbeth Stage, and I'm pleased to report my preconceptions were bodyslammed down to the ground. I've always been a fan of surprises, and this one was especially nice. Rather than the dry and uninspiring samples of middle of the road feel-good rock my memory banks had chosen to associate them with, their set was bright and involving in a way only the undertones of pop can achieve. The positive energies spilling out from the stage were the same brand we've come to expect from bands like Kids In Glass Houses- all stuffed full of things that make you think of ice cream with hundreds and thousands or a puppy chasing a butterfly.

With a band like this, the decisive factor that stops the perky melodies and enthused riffing from sounding like a twee ball of fluff is the weight of personality. Straight Lines have this sorted. Their stage presence is one of charm and inclusion, really stretching out to their audience from front to back. Of course, their distinct Welsh lilt invited a couple of 'comments' from a beery corner of the tent, but vocalist Tom Jenkins served a well versed response with a smooth backhand that Nadal himself would be proud of. Make sure you get this lot on your summer play list and you won't regret it.