The Critical
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The Critical

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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Gig review of Cavendish Arms"

The Ballroom music venue in Stockwell might be a bit on the small side, but this evening’s final band ‘The Critical‘ don’t let that stop them from unleashing a musical assault that wouldn’t feel out of place in a much larger venue.

The Sussex four piece open the set with a slow atmospheric keyboard intro, giving way to a snappy Muse meets a less heavy System of A Down style riff. On opening number, ‘Six Feet Under’, front man Ollie Benn despairingly reminds us of the diamond trade that has blighted Africa in recent years.

They follow this up with the similarly catchy ’Killer Fever’, and the ska influenced ’Reasons’. Both well polished numbers and drummer Gavin O’Driscoll pounds every beat on the drum as though his life depends on it.

‘Soldier Returns’ ticks the obligatory anti-war box that every band needs in their catalogue. It’s performed with sincerity and gusto and features an unexpected ending as the song seemingly grinds to a halt before heading in a completely different direction.
The Critical show us that then ease their way into ’Attractive’. A crowd pleaser that is sure to feature on their debut album due for release in September.

‘Start Me Up’ is a very different prospect from the Stones song of the same name. It opens with a beautifully haunting guitar riff, laden with just the right amount of chorus. Reminiscent of early Robert Smith, I later discover that guitarist Chris Couchie hails from the same hometown. Must be something in the water round that part of the country.

The final song of the evening is ’My Lie’ a sleazy number that allows us to hear bass player Paul Girling’s backing vocals as he and Ollie scream their way through the chorus. They seem to know how to finish a set too as they disappear leaving the stage awash with feedback. It’s a pretty gutsy move considering the size of the venue, but it works to great effect and it’s a move that will stand them in good stead when they play at the Isle of Wight Festival later in the year.

The band carry themselves with just the right amount of swagger and judging by tonight, have the tunes to back it up. Critical?….they might just be. - Darren Coomber


Six Feet Under EP (

Forthcoming Album September 09'



The Critical are a unit of idealistic kids raised during the influential 80’s & 90’s, and are the result of pop culture, terrestrial television and various sci-fi cult movies.

The story starts in the late 90’s with various incarnations of the band knocking around for a while.
Then in 2006 these four cultivated individuals from Sussex decided to create a sound that encompassed everything they had experienced and encountered during their diverse, but strangely parallel lives.

The band started by winning an unsigned competition to become Mercury FM’s Breakfast Show Band after gaining thousands of votes from local listeners. They went on to appear on various radio shows in and around the South East, as well as regularly featuring in local press with requests for full page interviews.

The Critical thrive on live performances and have played in many salubrious locations and venues all over the South East from London to Brighton. They have been building an army of fans that show loyalty and commitment to the band.

Apart from being chosen to perform as part of the build up to the BT Digital Music Awards and winning competitions on local radio, The Critical have now stepped up their game by securing £15,000 to record an album through, a new music website phenomenon. Their music was given a top rating out of over 1000 bands internationally, and due to winning votes from their fans The Critical are now able to move on in a direction that feels right.