Surf Curse Live at Electric Ballroom

Riding the wave since the explosion of their viral hit song ‘Freaks’, Nevada-based band Surf Curse return to London ahead of the release of ‘Magic Hour’.

For those unaware of surf rock group Surf Curse, you may have stumbled upon their summer hit ‘Freaks’ after it exploded on TikTok last summer. The single, which featured on their 2013 debut album ‘Buds’, has now been streamed over 580 million times, an unexpected accolade which lead to them penning a deal with major record label Atlantic. Virality can be a double-edged sword. While TikTok has turned many unknown artists into overnight sensations, these artists get forgotten about almost as quickly as they shoot up to mainstream attention. However,‘Freaks’ has more substance than most. Surf Curse’s recent success has served as a reward a band that has been cutting their teeth on the underground circuit for over ten years. Their forthcoming fifth studio album ‘Magic Hour’ (out October 7th) finds Nick Rattigan (lead vocals & drummer) and Jacob Rubeck (guitarist) exploring a fuller and more dynamic sound with the addition of guitarist Noah Kholl and bassist Henry Dillon. While streaming numbers are what labels first look at these days, it’s without question that live shows are the real litmus test for an artists’ longevity. After this London show, it’s clear to me that Surf Curse pass the test.

Supported by Burnley’s own The Goa Express and Soren Bryce aka Tummyache, Surf Curse stepped onto the stage, tuned up and let loose with their signature fast-paced indie sound fans have come to know and love. Upon the ringing of the first chord, a mosh-pit of young teens erupted bringing anyone in the periphery along for the ride. If the pandemic taught us anything about live music, it is that it will never die. The gig displayed everything that is amazing about live music. Tell me, where else can you jump around chanting along to guitar riffs and lyrics about being a Freak with people you have just met? For the encore, Nick Rattigan (on the drums) swapped out with guitarist (and substitute drummer) Noah Kholl to perform fan-favourite ‘Disco’. Surf Curse brought the energy from the start flowing from established tracks such as ‘Midnight Cowboy’ and ‘Freaks’ to more recent tracks in the form of ‘TVI’ and my personal favourite ‘Sugar’. When an artists song blows up to this extent you wonder what an audience will be like when it comes to their live shows. Will they know their lesser streamed songs or will the audience be stood-still patiently waiting for that song one to be played? But it’s fair to say that Surf Curse are much more than just ‘Freaks’ and have been for quite some time. Rattigan claimed this was “one of the best crowds” on the tour so far, I can see the crowds only growing. Surf Curse is making indie rock music exciting again.


Arrow is out now, follow Surf Curse via @surfcurse


Words by Dean Benzaken


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