junodream at Village Underground, 27/02/24

The fast-rising indie outfit bring the bends to London's Village Underground

When Lammo (DJ Steve Lamacq to most) is spotted at a gig, you can bet your bottom dollar you’ll be hearing much more of the band on stage in the not-to-distant future. The promising young bucks in question at said gig were dream-rockers junodream, who sold-out London’s Village Underground just days after the release of their debut album, Pools Of Colour.

The Hampshire-via-Bristol four-piece seem to have materialised out of thin air. Though, in truth, they’ve been scratching away for several years as an independent entity; a status they proudly maintain. And they’ve amassed a rampant fanbase along the way – each time the four-piece concluded a song, chunks of the 800-strong crowd would pounce on each other and relay its backstory or where it ranked on their list of the band’s favourites, before the music had ceased to reverberate within the venue’s brick walls. 

It was warming to witness such excited chatter however, and junodream could feel it. Life as a band with a simple dream of achieving success nowadays isn’t simple at all, and disillusionment permeates much of junodream’s work.

junodream - Death Drive (Official Video)

Case in point with ‘Death Drive’, which they sneak in half-way through the evening’s set. Arguably their most radio-ready earworm – destined for an abundance of sync usage due to its fluttering whistles and vacant la la’s – its lyrics are packed with existential despair about current warmongering in the world, a song they self-described as an “an end-of-the-world anti-dance”. If all else fails, dance your despair away. 

“I’ve felt insignificant over the past two, maybe five, maybe ten years”, singer Ed Vyvyan admits, explaining his bouts of insomnia after relocating to London to ‘make it’. “But something good has come from it”, in a nod to the audience who have turned out for the band tonight, themselves in search of sanctuary. 

Tightly orchestrated throughout, junodream seemingly possess a preternatural feel for dynamics. Frequently employing the quiet-loud-quiet song structure, Vyvyan’s hushed delivery during verses often feels like he’s singing entirely to himself, though the band never lean too far into introspection. Instead, Vyvyan opts for bombastic, anthemic choruses at any given chance, much like the earliest iteration of The Verve or Spiritualized, with shades of baggy indie vectored through The Bends

junodream - Kitchen Sink Drama (Official Video)

Citing the likes of Radiohead, Air, Spacemen 3, Zero 7, and even Pink Floyd as shared influences between band members, junodream are a band that proudly wear their idols’ influence on their sleeves. A few heads in the crowd had to double-take ‘Kitchen Sink Drama’ for instance, thinking it was from In Rainbows. Aim for the stars and you might just reach the top of the trees… ‘The Beach’ – which they opened the show with – laps it up in the twinkling trip-hop which embodied the era Danny Boyle’s movie came out, as though they’d written it as a tribute without perhaps realising it. 

As the whirling psychedelia of ‘The Oranges’ and ‘Close Encounters’ brought junodream’s set to an end, the band basked in light as mobile phones illuminated Village Underground. The absence of any major label backing clearly won’t halt junodream’s journey towards success. Maybe even stadium-sized adoration.

Find tickets for Junodream here.