You know those nights when you catch a couple of shows, running all around town to see some bands youíve really wanted to check out? Thatís the kind of wonderful evening I had last night, except instead of running all around town and catching cabs, I walked the four minutes from the Barfly, where I saw up and comers The Boxer Rebellion, to the Enterprise, where the brothers from ,b>Electric Soft Parade were playing an exclusive acoustic performance. Damn, youíve got to love London.
Ever since my first week here in June, Iíd been told that I would love The Boxer Rebellion. The people who told me that were dead on. Since Iíd never heard them before, I donít have any track names, but I do know they played their upcoming single, ìWatermelon,î as the penultimate track and I do know that these kids have serious talent. Fronted by an American, with a Aussie on guitar and two Londoners in the rhythm section, The Boxer Rebellion combine aspects of Muse, Buffseeds, Catherine Wheel and Verve with spine-chilling results. Atmospheric guitars, bass grooves to get lost in, dynamic percussion and frontman Nathan Nicholsonís angelic tones fuse together to scrape the sky and shake your soul. Truly ones to watch.
The Enterprise was rammed full of people excited to see the brother duo of Tom & Alex White in a stripped-down stylee. The intimate atmosphere was accentuated by the pairís constant banter/bickering, which was inherently entertaining. As the night went on, and they worked through more of their sophomore album, The American Adventure (out next week), calls for songs came from the crowd, as well as random drunken announcements, which the brothers met with witty rejoinders. The singles from last yearís excellent Holes In The Wall, ìEmpty At The Endî and ëThereís A Silenceî were both met with rapturous applause and a few more new ones and requests from the crowd rounded out the set. I was amazed at how beautiful the acoustic versions were and how much the brothers, when singing in unison, sounded like Elliott Smith. The show was excellent and the banter between the two, and their occasional missteps (forgetting words, not remembering guitar parts because ìI usually play drums on this song!î) made the show that much more intimate and memorable. Now I canít wait to see them fully plugged in tomorrow night. London, you STILL have to love it.