September 2, 2015
The Old Blue Last, Shoreditch
“Thank you for listening to my misery”
The show was opened by 29 year old British singer-songwriter Thomas George, who performs as The Lion and The Wolf. A year of incessant touring – including a recent circuit with P.J. Bond, and a guest appearance at Xtra Mile’s Summer in the City showcase – has allowed him to hone his craft. Thomas is the first to joke about the “sheer crushing melancholy” of his set. However, it’s no bad thing – the confessional style and electro-acoustic finger-picking foregrounds a pure, sometimes haunting voice, and lyrics of everyday loss and holding on to hope. Highlights included Colour and The Hole That It Leaves, both available on debut album, Symptoms. If you’re in Germany, make sure to catch TLATW in October on a headline tour.
“What’s the neighbourhood called – Shoegaze?”
Next up: Northcote. Having paid their dues with hundreds of full bands and solo support slots for the likes of The Gaslight Anthem, Dave Hause, and Chuck Ragan, now is their time to shine as headliners. They did not disappoint. Experience has brought a more nuanced, polished performance without sacrificing their signature energy and heart. Like TLATW, the Canadian rockers delivered an earnest, open set with a focus on storytelling. This is encapsulated in the title track of their new album, Hope is Made of Steel – a rousing, Springsteen style song of survival and defiance. Watch out for that record, due for release on September 25, followed by an extensive tour of Canada. Full details of both, including tempting pre-order packages, are up on Northcote’s stylish new website.