Band of the week /// Whales In Cubicles


After living for some time in America and soaking in numerous influences from American bands, Stef (vocals/guitar) moved to London and started Whales In Cubicles with Alex (guitar) and Jamie (bass) and it was the beginning of a great band with attitude. Whales started progressing and immediately drew public attention to their charisma and talent. Now completed by Aaron (drums), the London-based four-piece are amongst the most exciting up-and-coming bands to ever grace the UK soils.

Blistering melodies going in the blink of an eye from relaxed tranquillity to a riff and energy fireworks comprise the listening alluring and very attractive – the one that resonates with a listener on different levels and in many ways. It’s an explosion with a great deal of sincerity, emotional connection and an incredibly uplifting feel. And you should see Whales In Cubicles live too…

It’s 16th August and Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar in Brighton is buzzing with excitement as the showtime 2013-08-16 21.21.37approaches. Upstairs in the bar our mutual friend Eva from Music Gets Me By introduces me to Stef – charmingly friendly, intelligent and deeply interested in everything we have to say. In somewhat less than an hour downstairs Stef, together with other Whales, delivers a fantastic, balls-to-the-wall performance in front of the enchanted audience. What everyone is treated to is a bolt of lighting that pins one to the wall with its intensity, amazing musicianship and chemistry between the musicians on the stage. As said by the band, and noted by Eva, who has seen them play live numerous times, Whales In Cubicles are the band who are getting better with every new live show. I’ve seen them for the first time and I refuse to believe this band are familiar with such a notion as a “bad show”.

It’s a gig to remember with emotions filling you to the top and ending up in a total overflow. The tiny venue is too small for them as Whales In Cubicles fill the whole space with their soaring music and passion of their performance, but at the same time it is the closest level of intimacy which can be achieved at a show and with Whales on the stage one can feel this close connection especially acutely. Theirs is the kind of performance you’d expect from a rock ‘n’ roll band, minus smashing guitars and drunken antics, plus friendly charm and totally ecstatic state from being on the stage alone.

Their setlist that night could prove a bit unexpected for those who are well acquainted with the band’s back catalogue, with the newest single ‘Disappear’ and the famous ‘Nowhere Flag’ being notably absent. But that’s what Whales In Cubicles do: they follow the path you don’t expect them to and that’s why calling them unique, special and similar epithets is not just putting labels, but describing real qualities of this band.

Concert photo by Olga Polomoshnova

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