KOLARS at The Lexington
When you think of dynamic musical duos bands such as The White Stripes, The Black Keys, or even Simon and Garfunkel might spring to mind. Now forget them and instead imagine a duo who someone how combine all three of these artists while also making music that is entirely new… say hello to KOLARS a married musical pair from LA who have managed to do just this. Known for their space-age-meets-rockabilly style, Rob Kolar and Lauren Brown graced the UK for only three days – which is apparently enough time to spread bucket loads of glitter and sweat from Scotland right back down to London. Celebrating the physical release of their self-titled debut album (‘Kolars’) the band filled London’s, apparently, American themed bar The Lexington as the final resting place of their brief UK excursion.
As audience members shuffled in to the low-lit upstairs of the pub they were greeted initially by last minute support act Sebastian Schub. Armed with his acoustic guitar and moody blues vocals, Sebastien performed solo – handling himself with masterful grace. With Nick Mulvey meets Iron and Wine vibes, Sebastian really knows how to entertain with tunes that cover topics of unrequited love, sexual desire for a girl who plays bass guitar and even the beauty of West Country landscapes. As a busker for a living, it’s no doubt quite hard for talented artists such as this to be picked up a by a label and it’s even more shocking that no one has snapped up this one. Playing with effortlessly raw passion for his art, he is both rough and ready while also maintaining a certain cool confidence that it surpassed the literal warmth of his beanie and knitted turtleneck combination. Good with his fingers and dirty with his vocals Sebastian was a crowd pleaser, so much so that by the end of the night he even got the audience doo-dooing after him with his track ‘Waiting for the Encore’. Despite not being the original support act, Sebastian Schub was suited to the occasion, perfectly preparing the stage with a folk presence that only but complimented KOLARS who were next to come.
Rolling on stage like a couple of disco balls were flashy dressers KOLARS, consuming the attention of the excitable audience who had been warmed up for them. Known for their “glam-abilly” style, this desert discoing duo marry together staple motifs from a variety of genres as if each element, although sometimes contrasting, were made for each other.
Taking their name from lead vocal and guitarist Rob’s last name as a nod to their own matrimony, both their recorded tracks and live performances are nothing but a showcase of their ability to fuse together their own passions and interests.
To put it simply KOLARS are as if T-Rex and the Pixies had a love child who was born tap dancing on a drum kit and with a no-shits-given punk aesthetic… ok they’re maybe not so simply put. However, despite being hard to describe, their music unifies the past and present with a sprinkle of their own flare and having been in the music making game for ten years it’s not surprising that they aren’t afraid to play music instinctively as opposed to falling into trends. But don’t get it twisted, despite being experienced musicians having already been part of the five-piece He’s my Brother, She’s my Sister, these two are constantly evolving and adding more and more to their kaleidoscopic musical range.
The Lexington performance was a clear display of their refusal to go with the grain and instead play music that they find innate connections with. Stealing 70’s aesthetics and combining them with DIY desire to replicate high fashion looks of 2018 runways, the duo’s dress sense and drum kits looked as if they’ve been plucked out of the depths of a young Paco Rabanne’s brain. And with ceaseless energy, a high that only a tequila drinker could understand (I’d presume), their reflective looks only worked to mirror their stage presence tenfold. With a setlist that was sultry, sweaty and celestial they showed off their multitude of skills, playing tracks such as ‘Turn out the Lights’, ‘Bullet on the Run’ and ‘Beyond the World of Man’. The crowd matched the bands excitement by succumbing to the urge to dance and even joining in for a singalong. Chucking in their cover of Neutral Milk Hotel’s ‘King of Carrot Flowers’ and ending their set with an encore, the duo certainly knows how to work a crowd. It’s as if Rob hypnotises you with his Elvis-esk swagger while Lauren captivates you with her insane foot percussion, inviting their observer to let go just as much as Lauren’s face does. They urge you to reject the mundane world beyond the space and join them in a frenzy of musical mayhem – if only for a moment.
Experience KOLARS here: https://www.facebook.com/kolarsmusic/
Find out more info on Sebastian Schub here: https://www.facebook.com/SebastianSchubOffical/
The words by Aimee Williams-Maynard