With a jangle of sunny Pixies harmonies, a brush with Buzzcocks, and the cuteness of Camera Obscura, The Spook School will be giving a lesson in the welcoming confines of the West Hill Hall.
Formed in 2012 whilst studying at the University of Edinburgh (with two band members recruited from the Uni’s comedy circuit), their evolution to indie darlings of the queer crowd has blossomed alongside lead singer Nye Todd’s own acceptance of his identity. He has been undergoing gender transition throughout the course of the band’s lifetime, a process that becomes evident in the differing vocals of their full-length offerings thus far; 2013’s ‘Dress Up’ and 2015’s ‘Try To Be Hopeful’.
‘Try to be hopeful’ is the band’s mantra. The community hub that is the West Hill Hall is an ideal setting for such inclusive, infectious optimism (to be invigorated by the BYOB policy, no doubt). Like a hand-poked tattoo of de rigueur millennial declaration of self-love, The Spook School drum in messages of acceptance, that everything will be okay in the end (with song titles such as ‘Burn Masculinity’, ‘Binary’, and ‘Are You Who You Think You Are?’ it wouldn’t take Sherlock to detect a theme here). Which they do minus the artifice and in-your-faceness of avante garde electro, or the shrieking pomposity of lipstick-smeared, platform-booted guitar-fumbling glam trash. Fear not, for these indie anthems for confused youth will still get your heart pogoing.
If you prefer Queer As Folk to RuPaul’s Drag Race and sipping tea to snorting coke, you’ll quickly warm to the beams of joy radiating from The Spook School.
West Hill Hall, Saturday 25th March 2017
Words by Karen McDermott