New Years Day / The Dirty Youth / The Red Paintings

Ash Costello proves her star power

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It’s doubtful that anyone here was expecting to be entertained by a man in a deerstalker, ballgown and R2-D2 backpack, but that’s what they’re getting from THE RED PAINTINGS [6].

Frontman Trash McSweeney is flanked by someone painting and a woman sporting a papier-mâché mask and waving her hands around. Musically like My Chemical Romance covering Nick Cave, and visually it’s West End theatre on a secondary school budget. There’s a fine line between unashamedly dealing in clichés like big harmonies and gothic synths to make them bombastic and fun, and lobbing them all into your songs to conform to a genre.

The Dirty Youth: Cruella than thou

The Dirty Youth: Cruella than thou (Image credit: Will Ireland)

THE DIRTY YOUTH [3] sound like the latter. NEW YEARS DAY’s [7] Ash Costello strides onto the stage to rapturous cheers and opens with Kill Or Be Killed. She’s a powerful frontwoman, striding across the stage as if she were in a much bigger venue, as new guitarist and bassist Jeremy Valentyne and Brandon Wolfe take to their roles seamlessly.

It’s a little samey until the dance-pop-inspired Death Of The Party and the emotional Let Me Down, but the fans clustered down the front have come here to sing along, and they’re in their element.