Satellite Stories are Finland’s most renowned indie band, formed in 2008 and already on their third album. The Tsars are busy getting new music out after a quiet few years writing and honing their sound. Sandwiched in between these two acts at Borderline last night was Louis Berry, a 24 year old singer from Liverpool who has spent the year playing festivals up and down the country and puts the swagger back in rock and roll.
Music at the moment is full of earnest young men with a guitar and that’s great but what Louis Berry brings to the party is a confident attitude and stage craft that has a definite echo of Jake Bugg but also nods to the rhythm and blues origins of rock and roll. His music is raw and contagious. Within seconds of starting he had the packed Borderline crowd buzzing and dancing. He obviously enjoys playing live music and feeds off the energy in the room with an easy confidence, taking pleasure from the reaction he gets and even taking time to blow a mischievous kiss to a photographer trying to get her killer close up.
Louis is not one for standing behind a microphone; like a modern day King Creole, “he holds his guitar like a Tommy gun” and with his gritty vocals blasts through songs like “25 reasons”, a song recently featured on Need for Speed, “Rebel” and “45” but also takes time to slow things down and show that he can nail a ballad too, but not for long as “you can’t play two slow ones in a row”.
Louis has said that he grew up listening to a lot of rap music and this is evidenced lyrically in the way he writes although his music has moved away from his hip hop interests to a style that is hard to ignore. Zane Lowe apparently loved his music when he played the BBC Introducing stage and he made such an impression on that gig that he was signed to a publishing deal within hours of that debut show.
I would encourage anyone to try to catch Louis live as this is where his music comes to riotous life. I have already booked tickets to see him when he plays The Old Blue Last, the Shoreditch venue that delights in launching the next big thing, and have to report that he is yet another member of the Barn On The Farm family, an independent festival that seems to have its finger firmly on the pulse of what makes new music tick.