Orphans and Vandals – the best new band in London

There’s been another BBC radio scandal involving sex and swearing.

Yep – you heard it here first. Following a late night live music session that included rude lyrics and bad language, 6 Music has banned records by new theatrical five-piece Orphans and Vandals from its play-list.

Here at PopJunkie, just like Daily Mail readers, we’re up in arms. Why? Because they’re the best new band in London. The London music scene has been crying out for a band with the epic feel of My Life Story, the tawdry, lo-rent glamour of Pulp and the cynicism of The Auteurs. Oh, and, more importantly, a female string section.

Orphans and Vandals are fronted by`singer/songwriter Al Joshua. Imagine Lou Reed, but if he was stuck between the boroughs of Camden and Islington, rather than walking the mean streets of New York.
The five-piece had me transfixed at their recent No One Died appearance in Camden and it wasn’t just because of their female band members (Francesca and Quinta on strings, percussion and glockenspiel, and Gabi on drums – she’s especially fascinating to watch, as she’s essentially a female Keith Moon, but with, added, err, harmonium playing skills).

Although, admittedly, the ladies on stage helped me to fall in love with this elegant, yet twisted, pop tour-de-force, even I’m not that shallow. No, really, I’m not. To be fair, I was largely sucked in by Al’s tales of bed-sit dreaming, wet nights in New Cross, dirty sex with both men and women – Parisian nightlife and seaside cottage getaways in order to escape the loneliness of his King’s Cross box room.

On stage, Al talks his way through his songs in a Jarvis Cocker-esque delivery, or spits and snarls like Luke Haines. During the staggering, colossal Mysterious Skin, he even sings about someone ejaculating all over him!

So, if you’re looking for a grandiose, seedy, yet beautiful, soundtrack to modern London life (aren’


t we all?), then Orphans and Vandals have, ahem, got it covered.

Forthcoming Orphans and Vandals shows:

14 Dec 2008
Bring It On! @ Hope & Anchor
8 Jan 2009
Soho Revue Bar w/ Mumford & Sons


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