Live Review: The Garden // Scala, London – 22/03/17

In the aftermath of what was a pretty bizarre gig at the intimate Scala seeing California experimental duo The Garden, one thing was clear … and that’s that absolutely everything was unclear. Formed of twins Wyatt and Fletcher, The Garden are a perpetually intriguing duo that have a back catalogue to die for. Ranging from pseudo-rave interludes and hard-hitting punk skits, the Shears twins are unorthodox.

Bewilderingly running on stage to summon a jumping crowd for new EP opener U Want The Scoop?, Wyatt and Fletcher adorned wigs, painted faces, and sunglasses; coupled with the droning, sleazy introduction to U Want The Scoop? running around the perimeter of the venue, it was set to be a peculiar evening. As the nigh-on sold out crowd released some indelible dance moves to the rave-y interludes set out, and then directly submerged right into a punk rumble, the question of what genre The Garden can be pigeonholed into was niggling at me. Full-throttle into a cult-favourite Red Green Yellow, the London crowd lapped up everything the twins were offering as their tenacity paralleled the 1,000 person strong energy.

Cooking up a storm, The Garden headed straight through tracks from their latest EP including the surreal Have A Good Day Sir, and the full-on Prodigy-esque numbers All Access, and Clay. After the loss of all reality kicked in, The Garden’s surreal set took to another level with frequent dog barking from the twins, and a brief visit to 2013 mini-album ‘The Life and Times of a Paperclip’ to give The Apple a much-appreciated outing.

After the room had reached boiling point, everything had descended into a blur with crowd-surfers up every 5 seconds (including The Garden), and a compilation of rave skits and punk bass lines all sewn loosely together by Fletcher Shears’ drumming.

Madness continuing, the California duo maintained velocity for Call This # Now, and Egg. Nearing the set’s closure, the Shears jilted through mosh-pit trigger I’m A Woman, and intensely mad All Smiles Over Here :).

Thankful for the air-conditioning finally turning on, the next-level crowd had barely a chance to catch their breath before The Garden were back on stage again to mark an aggressive end to the evening with a staunch dance interlude (again), and  20 second last glimpse, Vada Vada for one final frenzic jump about.

The Garden are essentially cult-heroes – the duo’s dynamic coup of their audience is incredible, and the bold sounds they create brand them as a total anomaly, who in the flesh, bring it all to a higher tier.

Words by Jasmin Robinson

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Jasmin Robinson

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