Line Up: Laurel, Rews
This show was always gonna be way too cool for me. Two up and coming artists in an ultra trendy venue...surely I would be spotted early and weeded out by the security? Luckily I had my far cooler wife with me as protection.
This free ticket gig was a showcase for singer songwriter Laurel and duo Rews. I was here primarily for the latter but after seeing excellent reviews on the former the show really was a no brainer.
As I get older I seem to be seeing a lot more new artists as well as many of the legacy bands. It does mean venturing from the comfort zone from time to time though. Here the crowd was certainly not full of the usual denim clad, mullet wearing rockers I am used to. Indeed people here actually had 'Shoreditch' haircuts, stylish clothes and are about 25 years younger. No problem with that...however the trend for wearing backpacks at concerts seems to be growing and it set off my grumpy old man antenna. Fine at a festival but in a small club it is really annoying. These same bag wankers are often found on London's tube and are up there with those pesky cyclists going through red lights. My list of annoyances grows by the day.
Enough of my grumpiness. Back to the music. Rews really do belt out their 40 minute set with gusto while wearing beaming smiles all the way through. That may well mean they are still in the honeymoon, pre debut album release time, however with songs like Miss You in the Dark, Shake Shake and new single Shine, singer Shauna Tohill and drummer Collette Williams have much to look forward to. Indeed (prepare yourself for an Alan Partridge line) the House of Vans may have been full of cool people but it was on fire during their set here. Can't wait for the album and more live shows to come.
We saw Laurel in the pub next door before the show somehow looking relaxed and nervous at the same time. On stage though she looked very much at home. Her wavering voice reminds me of Natalie Merchant and is an absolute pleasure to listen to. Unfortunately being much quieter than Rews it was difficult to hear at times as the bar wankers behind us drowned her out (and yes, they are also on my list). Admittedly we should have moved further forward but the House really was rammed for both sets tonight. We were stuck and so for at least ten minutes we had to half listen to what Jez and Izzy did to each other the night before. What we did hear of Laurel though was another artist on her way to much bigger things. Spotify playlist duly created and downloaded.
Despite my minor crowd and venue gripes this was an excellent night seeing two highly promising new artists in a very cool setting. Turns out supporting new music is a wondeful thing and (despite bag and bar wankers) will continue to surprise and delight.
Ticket Price: Free