Zulu Winter are a curious band. They seem to be a band beloved by hipsters at the minute, yet their soaring ambitions surely cannot be contained to playing to only the trendy crowds of London. The band’s recent singles are highly reminiscent of the stadium bothering doom-pop of White Lies and the lead singer’s powerful vocals remind me very much of Chris Martin in his prime, ( I am not entirely sure when that is but I can definitely say it is not now). Therefore it was quite a surreal night when I went to their debut album’s launch party show at a small venue in North London. It was an odd sight looking at a crowd of East London hipsters, industry liggers and fashionistas stroking their moustaches and sipping their Red Stripe whilst the band bash out some massive choruses smothered in swooning guitars, clearly with much bigger venues in mind.
Zulu Winter have been widely tipped by BBC 6 Music, NME and Zane Lowe and so they came accompanied with lots of buzz to London to play their first major headline show in the capital. They started the show looking very confident and assured, and it was clear from the first song that the band were primarily concerned with sounding huge. The song that most people knew, ‘We Should Be Swimming’, was carted out as their second song and this can be attributed to one of two reasons; either the band were extremely confident of their remaining songs or they understood that the crowd was so full of muted industry types that an energetic and enthusiastic response was never going to be forthcoming so what did they have to lose by using the big guns first? I still remain undecided as to what was the real reason. Other stand out songs were ‘Silver Tongue’ and ‘Let’s Move Back To Front’ which proved a real hit with the crowd; it was impossible not to get caught up with the soaring choruses and sweeping guitar parts. From the majority of the set it was very clear to see why, even before the release of their debut, Zulu Winter are tipped to break into the mainstream.
The issue which I would raise to all those jumping on the bandwagon is that there is nothing revolutionary or especially different about Zulu Winter. Everything they produce has been done ad-infinitum before and probably done better. Many words used to describe the band go along the lines of massive, epic and ambitious but one description sticks better than most: Coldplay-esque. The comparison with Chris Martin and co. is not hugely wide of the mark with their album aimed towards stratospheric hugeness, aided by swooping melodies and 80s styling. In the end I would definitely recommend checking Zulu Winter out. Be aware they are in no way ground-breaking but they do prove to be a very satisfying listen.