Having a single with an iconic musician like Pete Doherty is obviously exciting for a fledgling band just beginning to embark on their career. However, in this day and age when new songs are obsessively dissected in the extensive indie blogosphere before they’ve even been officially released, it can also spell trouble; as the hype generated from performing a fantastic song with such a legendary figure can heighten expectations to unreachable levels and kill a young band off before they’ve even really started.
That’s exactly the situation that the Littl’ans found themselves in after their absolutely sublime October of 2005 single ‘Their Way,’ (on which Doherty sang a verse) hit the UK charts running, clocking in at #22 on the pop charts and second place on the indie charts. Add to this the fact that they soundtracked designer Heidi Silmane’s 2007 Dior Homme spring fashion show, and you have enough hype to kill Rasputin, let alone a rock band.
Many lesser bands would have crumbled under this type of pressure; but Littl’ans didn’t let the buildup get to them; they kept their heads on their shoulders, toured the United Kingdom successfully (although not without drama, as one show was cancelled due to a gas explosion and another was waylaid when the venue had unwittingly double-booked an Echo and the Bunnymen show on the same night), toured through Italy, blew away audiences at this year’s SXSW, and have now finally buckled down and released their long-awaited debut album, Primitive World. Primitive World is a monumental first album, and one that shows the band not only has the staying power to survive their earlier publicity from the collaboration with Babyshambles front man Doherty, but also to perhaps surpass them in terms of quality and stature on future albums. NME’s deputy editor, Alex Needham, wrote that “These days, Littl’ans erratically traverses the country playing doo-wop-influenced pop with the dazed, dark charm of a Syd Barrett or a Nick Drake. It’s surprisingly delicate music for such a hard-living band- but then romance always exists in squalor.” Being compared to deities like Drake and Barrett by a publication as authoritative as NME is high praise indeed, but certainly not undeserved.
And now New York City residents can catch them live as they make the leap over the Atlantic to play what is sure to be an electrifying five shows in one week. The tour/residency hybrid will kick off this Friday, April 17th at the newly opened underground music venue Cameo at 93 N. 6th in Brooklyn, where the band will share the stage with the likes of Hypernova and Tall Tales. Cameo will be offering Pabst Blue Ribbon accompanied by shots of bourbon as a drink special, and its one that’s truly-fitting for a band that creates, and lives, such a party atmosphere. After that, they’ll hit The Shank on Saturday, April 18 where they’ll play with Real Estate, the Tony Castles, and Bear Hands. Than they’ll cross the Brooklyn Bridge and rock Manhattan, with a show at the SOHO branch of fashion store Ben Sherman. It’s not often that you get to see a band of this caliber play for free, but this is indeed the case at the Ben Sherman show, which will take place on Wednesday, April 22nd at 8P.M. After that epic event, there will be a penultimate show the next night at Fontana’s, located on Eldridge Street, before the Littl’ans return to Brooklyn and Cameo one more time for the grand finale where they will play with Beluga, Inward Eye, and Jump Into the Gospel.
It’s a rare chance to catch a truly exciting band that is knocking on the door of rock stardom before they explode into the public eye. Check out the videos for the aforementioned ‘Their Way,’ and their newest single ‘Is it Wrong?’ and not only will you want to check out the first show, venues will be hard-pressed to keep you away from attending all five.
Venue: Cameo, 93 N. 6th, Brooklyn, NY
Date: Friday, April 17th
8:00pm Oh No and the Tiger Pit
11:00pm Tall Tales
11:30pm Paul and The Patients
Admission: $8, drink specials PBR + Shot of Bourbon $5
Venue: The Shank, 98 Bayard st, Brooklyn, NY
Date: Saturday, April 18th
8pm – Das Racist house band/DJing
9pm – LITTL’ANS
10pm – The Tony Castles
11pm – Real Estate
12am – Bear Hands
Admission: $10 door
Venue: Ben Sherman Soho, 96 Spring St., New York, NY
Date: Wednesday, April 22nd
8:00pm – LITTL’ANS
Admission: FREE RSVP here email@example.com
Venue: Fontana’s, 105 Eldridge St, New York, NY
Date: Thursday, April 23rd
9:30pm – LITTL’ANS
10:30pm – Inward Eye
11:30pm – Reckless Sons
Admission: $6, plus drink specials
Venue: Cameo, 93 N. 6th, Brooklyn, NY
Date: Friday, April 24th Set
8:00pm – Beluga
9:00pm – Jump Into the Gospel
10:00pm – LITTL'ANS
11:00pm – Inward Eye