There’s something magnetic about Citizens!, the British band who headlined Neumos on Monday evening. Sometimes things really are serendipitous, where the right musicians find each other and form a group. Then they make music I love. I’ve been into British music since I was a little kid, since I heard the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. I cannot remember a time when I didn’t know about these groups, and it was just never a choice whether I would continue to be into British pop music. I just was.
A long line of British pop music followed from Adam and the Ants to Mansun to Pulp to Duran Duran. Maybe I was indiscriminate, who cares? I knew what I liked, and so now in 2013 there have been a few British bands huge on my radar, including Alt-J, Django Django and Citizens! I’ve seen them all this year, and it’s been a great year musically. So, back to Citizens!. What’s good about them? It’s their pop, more corrupting than infectious in its melody and hooks. Great melody. Great hooks. Great band.
In my defense, I listened to Citizens!’ album, Here We Are, before I even took a look at the group. That the group turns out to be a photographer’s dream is just fortuitous (oh Neumos, I wish you’d had a brighter lights that night). Music people throw around the term presence when talking about musicians, and, okay this band has that too. Singer Tom Burke has a completely untypical and winning voice, and the band’s set included splendid tracks off Here We Are, with the sexy “She Said” and “Let’s Go All the Way” and the cheeky “(I’m in Love With Your) Girlfriend” and “Love You More.” When they came back out for an encore of “Monster,” if you weren’t already a fan, you’d have to have been really dead inside not to be won over by this band.
“She said/take me with you/and don’t waste your time going home,” indeed.