by Alexandra Paynter The first Vertigo this term had been dogged by misfortune; acts had backed out and new bands had to be found and sorted out at the last minute. Luckily this disaster wasn’t evident and didn’t spoil the evening. Jack Harris, an Imsoc regular, was the first to step up with his folk tune offerings. His songs dealt with topics ranging from bears to mountains to the flowers around him. They reminded one of stories heard as a child and soon he had a small group sitting around his feet, listening intently. Realising this he offered the rest of the cellar a chance to sit down, adding “Don’t just obey me; that’s fascism!” Much of his performance was of this rather surreal, delightful nature. His style was that of a storyteller and his soulful voice was comparable to the passion in David Gray’s “Babylon.” He kept the laughs going until he was ushered off stage for the next act.Dave House was an earnest, likeable South Londoner with the ghetto-complex of Jamie T and the lyrics of Lily Allen. He also has much in common with Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, to whose label he is signed. They both sing in American accents for no good reason – indeed, House’s voice is reminiscent more of Death Cab For Cutie‘s Ben Gibbard than Lily Allen‘s mockney gurnings. He was certainly fun, and very enjoyable, but his work is hardly groundbreaking. Many artists in London sing in exactly the same style and about the same things and House doesn’t exactly stand out from them. He certainly isn‘t bad, but he will need to step up his game if he is to be at the forefront of this new movement.Francois and the Atlas Mountains, however, were exceptional. In the vein of Architecture in Helsinki they used a variety of different instruments to produce a very funky folk sound. Headed by the ridiculously good looking Francois, possessor of a wonderfully soft French accent, the songs instantly sounded beautiful on an almost mystical level, without bothering with silly things like lyrics. However, they held the audience’s attention best during their most energetic songs, which brought out their eccentric, fun side, whereas their slower tracks work best on record. If you get a chance to see them, this band is a must and they may just become an instant favourite in your record collection.Photo of Francois and the Atlas Mountains by Alexandra Paynter.