“Guys, we don’t have an opener, they’re going to be completely ill-warmed-up out there!” is what I like to think the members of Sleeper Agent were discussing before their evening-time set at The Studio at Webster Hall. “Maybe we can go out a little late, keep them waiting, let them shmooze a bit more,” might have been the initial plan in theory, but in execution the wait led to a set filled with short, punchy tunes punctuated by the back and forth between a talented male/female vocal pair.
Usually, in my mind, the male/female duo is a huge hit-or-miss. In this case, Alex Kandel and Tony Smith alternated their pipes over tracks with a great energy to pump up an 8:15 crowd in a basement. Fans were treated to the standouts like “Get it Daddy,” while the people dragged by their friends validated their evening with an indie-cred establishing cover of The XX’s “VCR” complete with real drums.(And that aforementioned strategic use of Male/Female alternation)
Photos by Michael Zonenashvili