Israel Nash, Treetop Flyers & William The Conqueror

June 21, 2016
Brooklyn Bowl, London

The London crowd was lucky to see Israel Nash in more ways than one. Having been electrocuted during soundcheck at a recent show, he explained “it’s *really* good to be here, playing music!”

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What followed was an epic Americana set with clear classic rock influences. Nash’s vocals were deep and rich, and the band was tight and talented. Nash acknowledged that “they bring these songs I wrote to life.”

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The band powered through until Nash paused for a touching tribute to murdered MP Jo Cox and those at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando: “We’ve had to say things about mass shootings too many times from the stage…this song goes out to the victims.”

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The track dedicated to the fallen, Parlor Song, was a set highlight, notable for the lyric “sooner or later we’ll surrender our guns.” Quite a statement for a Missourian native  living  in Texas.

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Other standout songs included a cover of George Harrison’s 1970 track Isn’t It A Pity, and Rexanimarum, which was dedicated to “the late, great James Brown.”

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Given their relentless and compelling performance, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Treetop Flyers were playing a  sold-out headline show on the main O2 stage, rather than a midweek support slot in a mid-sized venue on the O2’s perimeter.

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The band combined the best elements of indie-rock and Americana as they tore through their set, including upcoming single 31 Years, with power and precision.

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Reid Morrison’s distinctive vocals and irrepressibly energy stole the show.  However, this was no case of style over substance.  “The quiet song”  – St. Andrew’s Cross – was a sweet duet between Morrison, who’s voice cracked beautifully, and multi-instrumentalist bandmate Sam Beer.

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Expect big things from this band.

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Unassuming as he took the stage, William The Conqueror’s vocalist Ruarri Joseph launched into a confident bluesy performance with southern rock overtones.

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The band backed him up closely and effortlessly.

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Special mention must go to Naomi Holmes who played with regal calmness, even as her bass lines reverberated through the floor.

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This band is one to watch.

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Like what you see? There are many more photos of the show over on Flickr; follow me there for over 1,500 concert photos and future updates. Please also follow me on Facebook, @redrospective on Twitter and here on WordPress for photography, reviews and music news.


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