Calva Louise bring head-bopping Rhinoceros to Clwb Ifor Bach

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A turbulent Tuesday night with Storm Gareth didn’t stop Jess et al from breaking out their moves downstairs at Clwb Ifor Bach.

Calva Louise returned to Clwb Ifor Bach (previously supporting Spring King here in 2017) with their infectious bubblegum punk.

From the outset, Calva Louise exuded an energy that soon rubbed off on the crowd. With a seemingly dedicated crowd, this was less of a gig, but more of a party with your closest friends (albeit your best friends whom you’ve only just met) sans the jelly and ice cream. Clwb Ifor Bach is known locally as an intimate venue, with a stage that was unraised. Lead singer, Jess, took advantage of this, urging the audience to come as close as possible, making spectators into participants.

Spectacular it was, seeing everyone dancing and the band hyping everyone with ferocious guitar riff and jumping around, enthused, without a care in the world. If anyone did not purchase their debut album Rhinoceros beforehand, I’m assuming they did afterwards. Speaking of the album, Calva Louise said:

“Our debut album is called Rhinoceros, in reference to a particular aspect of the work of Eugene Ionesco. In the lyrics of these ten songs we show our perception as young people, partly foreigners, who try to fit in and belong to something and somewhere in this globalised world. However, we have realised that our greatest motivation is the challenge of adventure, of penetrating into the unknown, and being authentic allows us to feel free to follow our own path, without ceasing to belong to this world, which is the reality”

From this album came the material for the setlist for the night. One of Jess’ favourite songs to play was a number called ‘No Hay’, which she sang in her mother tongue of Spanish. Interesting about this three-piece is that none of them share the same nationality (one Venezuelan, one Maori and another English), but they are based and found the band in London.

Throughout the whole set was an emphasis to party “but only if you want to”. All of their songs are designed for dancing and head bopping. There was one song ‘Getting Closer’ which was described as “a calm song, but a fake calm” which showed as the band went from swooning straight into thrashing without so much as a warning.

It’s punk, but it’s punk that’s “pop” in a good way. You can dance and leave happy: it’s a party after all….

Calva Louise’s debut album Rhinoceros is out now.


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