You know you’re in east London when you see a line of vintage bicycles chained to railings when you come out of a gig. City of Arts Music Project is the setting for the hipster bike display and also the Vivian Girls/Woods mash up that is known as The Babies.
The side project came about when roommates Cassie Ramone, Vivian Girls lead singer, and Kevin Morby, Woods bassist/guitarist, decided to pass the time by writing songs together. A year later and they have recruited drummer Justin Sullivan and bassist Nathanael Stark to join their lo-fi gang.
Tonight is their first gig outside of America and considering they are a relatively new band a huge crowd have come out to see them – undoubtedly a number of Vivian Girls and Woods fans are in the crowd to check out what the two bands curiously-named side project had produced.
We can’t imagine they are disappointed as the band turn the volume up to 11 and let loose. As a change from their normal routines in their respective full time bands, The Babies decide from the beginning that Morby would be the main songwriter and singer with Ramone on lead guitar and backing vocals.
The result is a scuzzy, energetic indie pop fest littered with off-key harmonies and more hooks than a butcher’s back room. ‘Breakin’ the Law’ is a jail bird inspired pop song with girl boy vocals and 60’s guitar riffs and ‘Meet me in the City’ is perfect indie sing-a-long material with its catchy chorus and dance friendly tune.
The band seem pretty comfortable with each other already and they looked like a pretty tight unit from where we stand. Ramone soloes her heart out proving once again that she’s more than just a pretty face. It is Ramone’s birthday and with the help of Morby, the crowd wish a very happy, if slightly drunken, birthday while she looks on bashfully.
They end the set with an instrumental song that sees them moving on the floor in synchronised unison. The Babies are our new lo-fi crush and here’s hoping they will get the time to make an LP – the biking hipsters need something to dance to.
Photography by Balk for the girls are.