The Swiss Lips have brought an end to nearly a month of partying, hosting their final night at the The Rag Factory last Saturday (November 17th), with Crave Online being invited along to bid them farewell.
The Manchester band have spent the past few weeks in London hosting a series of parties they've called 'The Union', bringing along friends such as The Horrors, Bastille and The Other Tribe for special performances and DJ sets throughout the duration of their residency at the London venue.
Prior to meeting with them, I was informed that the monthlong event was being held in order to help the band "draw inspiration" ahead of the recording of their debut album. Considering that Swiss Lips are signed with Sony, I naturally assumed that this was just an excuse for the band to get very, very drunk using their management's considerably large bank balance, but that's apparently not been the case. "We've recorded three songs while we've been here", the band informed me. "We decided to do [the Union] because we knew this would be an emotional rollercoaster, and recording the songs while we've been here has given a different flavour to the new material."
The impression that the band had left on the venue was literally smeared across the walls, with red paint splattered across them as if a particularly exaggerated recreation of the bloody Scarface bathroom scene had taken place there the night before. This added to the DIY Hacienda vibe that the band had previously mentioned that they were aiming for with the event, and it's clear that their time in London has converted many to their cause.
The band had upped the guest list prior to the final evening of the Union, but even with the Rag Factory full to capacity there was still a long queue of hopefuls waiting patiently outside to see what all the fuss was about. Such was the high demand for entry that even pop songstress and part-time X Factor judge Pixie Lott was denied entry, although she managed to worm her way in sometime later, the dirty little gatecrasher.
But enough about the partying, what about the music? Fortunately, the Swiss Lips are pretty bloody good at that, too. Kicking off their set with the rambunctious 'Danz', it was clear that those in attendance hadn't just turned up for the free booze. Joined onstage by their "enigmatic" dancer Barrington ("you should interview him", the band tell me, "he could send a glass eye to sleep"), the infectious pop that they create has helped the band create a big following ahead of the release of their first LP. The crowd (notably consisting of mostly females,) shout their lyrics back at them, with 'In The Water' garnering a particularly rowdy reaction.
So with their hook-laden pop clearly turning the dials of female audiences to "amorous", you'd think that the highlight of their past month would be something a little more sordid than hosting a children's party, but no. During the middle of their residency, the band decided to throw a little shindig together for a few youngsters (under parental supervision, of course) to get a more "truthful" opinion of their music. "Kids aren't cynical about music", the band said. "They're just feeling it".
So after a successful stay in London, will the Swiss Lips be looking to revisit the Union in the future? "Tonight was the beginning of where [the Union] could go", said the band. "It's came to an abrupt end, but in a way that makes it more beautiful."
Paul Tamburro is the UK Editor for Crave Online. Follow him on Twitter @PaulTamburro.