English Teacher top the class at London’s Lexington

The Hype List inductees prove they can handle the buzz band tag.

“Never been here before, quite like it” grins Lily Fontaine. She’s talking about The Lexington, but she could just as easily talk about her band taking the limelight that’s becoming rightfully theirs. With this headline slot sitting comfortably on them like a Christmas cracker party hat after a few buzz-making support cameos with bands like Sports Team and TV Priest, English Teacher are racing to the head of the class (look, we’re allowed one school ‘pun’ here alright?). 

As you’d expect from a BBC Introducing night, everything’s smelling all fresh and new on this particular line-up. Supports Viia and Frankie Beedlestone breeze on stage and smash it. The former with a devastating voice that can silence a room of jaded Londoners at a moments notice, while Frankie seems to be made entirely out of charisma and bops. It’d be no surprise to see both of these ‘doing very nicely actually, thank you very much’ by this time next year.

But English Teacher are next level. From the moment they toss out the top-tier banger ‘R&B’ as first song, nothing about their set goes quite where you expect it, full of left turns and rapid dives into semi-math rock. ‘A55’ feels like its thundering down a canyon, while the avant-spoken word of ‘Yorkshire Tapas’ eventually quietens the bar-talkers into some kind of reverence with the help of a cowbell (side note – big year for cowbells this isn’t it?). And then, it’s ‘Good Grief’ and they’re going out as strong as how they came in. Class dismissed, very much see you again soon we hope. (Yes, that’s two, we know).

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