Porij at Electric Ballroom Camden, 24/04/24

Genre-experimenting four-piece turn Camden into a club to celebrate their debut album

A rotating graphic head made up of white dots. 80s-style videogame walk-on music. A warm-up DJ. Welcome to a Porij show. The four-piece are releasing their debut album Teething this week, and after abrupt line-up changes within the band and a reputation that exceeds their physical output, having weathered the path to whatever stability looks like when you’re in a touring band in 2024, tonight they’re in the mood to celebrate.

“‘Guys you’re gonna make me cry, it’s too early. Simmer down everyone,” vocalist Scout ‘Egg’ Moore beams to the crowd. There’s a tendency for many artists in the dance music space to become puritans of the genre, fiercely guarding the technical building blocks and craftsmanship of the music to the point where it stops being human and fun and starts to become a drag. Not for Porij, who charge through their first three songs ‘Sweet Risk’, ‘150’ and ‘Ego’ with palpable joy and presence. It’s clear that for them tonight is as much about connection as it is craft. And having risen the radio ranks back in 2020 when COVID made clubs feel like a weird fever dream we once had, it makes sense why.

Porij - Unpredictable (Official Video)

And while throughout the night Porij flirt with the late night sticky club music of Jamie XX and Fred again.. they also invoke the weird pop of Metronomy and Little Dragon, and even give garage a go on ‘Unpredictable’. Then there’s ‘Marmite’, introduced as being as divisive within the band as the yeasty spread is within British culture, which sees Egg spitting lyrics as though they’re a MacBethian hex, straight out of a punk track. It’s in this exhilarating genre-hopping that Porij are at their best, collecting vibes as well as influences and shooting them back out with their own unmistakable stamp. 

The self-proclaimed “tender portion of the night” is where it slightly sags, apparently foreshadowed by someone in the Newcastle crowd a few nights ago who Egg tells the audience “booed so hard”. Stuck somewhere between the club, a rock show, and a pop concert, slower tracks like ‘Ghost’ don’t yet translate as obviously live. However, just like their globular pink stage visuals, resembling something between flubber and bubblegum, Porij continue to shapeshift, and isn’t long before we’re in a cover of Calvin Harris’ ‘Acceptable In The 80s’ to win the crowd back around. 

By the time we get to Porij’s big hitters ‘Nobody Scared’, ‘Lose Our Minds’ and ‘You Should Know Me’ the band are barely concealing their sheer happiness at being on the cusp of their debut album, and no doubt also an exciting new era for the foursome. Tonight is about the unpretentious glee of having fun with your friends, dancing like a bit of a nob, and casting the best bits of far reaching genres into fresh new spaces. This is just the beginning, and as beginnings go you can’t write them much better than this.  

Porij play Get Together 2024 in Sheffield on 18 May. Find tickets here