The Heartbreaks, Blood Oranges

Rhian Daly 15/12/2010

One thing strikes us square in the jaw as we're watching on from the back of the room - The Heartbreaks are the most exciting British band we've seen in at least five years. There's something about them, something genuine and compelling that makes you want tell everyone to listen. They are a band to believe in, devote yourself to and fall head over heels in love with. And tonight, we do just that.

In a year when music has been characteristically nostalgic, it seems almost fitting to bring 2010 ever closer to an end whilst watching The Heartbreaks. Seeking influence from the past ('60s doo-wop, C86 etc), their foundations might come from days gone by but, after tonight's performance, it's safe to say their gaze is set firmly on the future.

With a clutch of new songs in their set since GIITTV last had the pleasure of clapping eyes on the Morecambe four, tonight is wholly triumphant; a performance that sets them up perfectly as the ultimate band to keep both eyes on in the coming months.

In between those fresh, thunderous minutes that shine like perfect pop supernovas are more familiar songs; ones that spill over with grainy, black and white kitchen sink dramatics and rain-sodden, downcast atmospherics. The magnetic presence of front man Matthew Whitehouse gives the likes of 'Save Our Souls' and 'Come Home Katie' charismatic touch-ups and a new lease of life, whilst 'Jealous, Don't You Know' mournfully whips around the room, its tail between its legs and eyes burning brightly.

A closing one-two of singles 'Liar, My Dear' (about “being a naughty boy”) and 'I Didn't Think It Would Hurt To Think Of You' ensures the night ends in emphatic style; the misery and melancholia of the original songs shot down by how magnetic and downright fucking exciting watching The Heartbreaks is. Introducing the latter, Matthew dryly boasts that it “got to number 18 in the Latvian charts.” It's hard to tell whether he's being sincere, not that it matters. Surely it won't be long before The Heartbreaks are striding out to conquer stranger charts and lands, with Britain firmly under their rule.