In a room not much bigger than your kitchen, New York buzz band Public Access TV played a set so hot the back window steamed up, making the gig feel like a sweaty late-night lock-in.
Frontman John Eatherly dropped out of school at 16, and its clear that he turned towards the new-wave songwriters of the 70s and 80s for his education, as the light-hearted chug of Lou Reed and gritty energy The Ramones explode through PATV’s mesmerising sound. The pulsing hi-hat and surfy guitars sound like the ghost of summers-past, as jangly riffs and sunny hooks rattle round the room with timeless simplicity.
Pausing only for drummer Pete Star to lob his snapped drumstick across the stage, the band flow into top tune ‘End of an Era’, and the crowd bounced in juxtaposition to opening lyric “They say the kids don’t like rock and roll anymore”. The sweat and steamy heat of the set emulated a lo-fi smoke machine that, together with bleaching lights and a stage ready to snap, gave an iconic feel to the gig.
The buzzing intimacy of it all felt surreal. PATV’s energised sound is on par with The Strokes and early Arctic Monkeys, and I couldn’t help but feel this night at Oporto will be something I’ll brag about when Public Access TV are playing sold-out shows and top festival slots.
Words & Images by Meg Firth