Posts Tagged ‘shepherds bush empire’

First published in Clash Magazine

Tonight’s gig at Shepherds Bush is The Boxer Rebellion’s biggest headline show to date. Known for their appearance in chick flick ‘Going The Distance’, there’s always been more to the band than meets the eye.

Starting with the atmospheric ‘No Harm’, Tennessee-born Nathan Nicholson’s voice is stunning as he builds up tension before the band go straight into more energetic ‘Step Out Of The Car’.

The band has possibly the most excited look on their faces as the crowd jump along and wave their arms with serious enthusiasm. Lead guitarist Todd jumps around as if his life depends on it, leaping over to play on the barrier every now and then.

And then there’s the point where it’s about time they played that infamous song. “We’re getting tired of this one,” says Nathan, as the starts to strum the intro to ‘If You Run’. It’s beautiful, as always, but you suddenly realise that the band have so many better songs, and it’s pleasing to see that it gets less of a good reception than the likes of ‘Locked In The Basement’.

The Boxer Rebellion return for an encore and surprise the crowd with a stunning acoustic cover of Depeche Mode’s ‘Enjoy The Silence’, which shows off Nathan’s unique and beautiful voice.

They finish with ‘The Gospel of Goro Adachi’ and then it’s time to leave the stage. It’s pretty clear that they don’t want to, but they can leave knowing that tonight’s show was possibly the best gig they have ever played. With a new album in the pipeline, there are still greater things to come.




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First published in Clash Magazine’s website. See it there at: http://bit.ly/dW3dQa

In London it’s a chilly one degree and that’s the highest it’s been for the past week. No doubt everyone is in need of some cheering up. What better than Johnny Flynn to warm us up and bring a bit of summer sparkle to this dreadfully chilly night.

The crowd at the front have been queuing for a while and are awaiting Johnny’s appearance. The lights dim and Johnny and his band appear on the stage ready to warm up those frozen toes. Starting with Lost and Found, everyone has their hands in the air, clapping wildly to the music. It’s somewhat reminiscent of a barn dance although not everyone in the audience is country dancing. Well not just yet anyway.

Johnny’s sister Lillie made appearances throughout the show including current single Barnacled Warship. They seemed to work well together, giving each other those cheeky brother and sister grins as they both sing along.

There’s little interaction between the crowd and the band however with this audience who tend to scream at every song, tonight Johnny and his band can do no wrong.

There was speculation that a friend would be joining the band on the stage and of course that friend was none other than the wonderful Laura Marling. The Empire erupted with screams and cheers as the princess of folk entered the stage. Her voice contrasting with Johnny’s was just truly magical. It’s a shame she wasn’t there for longer but she almost seemed a little shy about being there.

Finishing onstage with his sister, Johnny went into Tickle Me Pink which saw even the reluctant people at the back of the Empire barn dancing it down to the instrumentals.

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