Northcote and The Lion and The Wolf concert review

September 2, 2015: Northcote and The Lion and The Wolf at 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 under the moniker of 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, that’s no bad thing. His confessional style and electro-acoustic finger-picking foreground a pure, sometimes haunting voice. Meanwhile, the lyrics explore everyday loss and holding on to hope.  Set highlights included Colour and The Hole That It Leaves. Both of these songs feature on his debut album, Symptoms.  

“What’s the neighbourhood called – Shoegaze?”

Next up: Northcote. Matthew Goud often performs solo as Northcote , but for this headline run the full band was out in force. Having paid their dues with hundreds of full bands and solo support slots for the likes of The Gaslight Anthem, Dave Hause, and Chuck Ragannow 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 The Lion and The Wolf before them, 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 as it’s a rousing, Springsteen style song of survival and defiance.

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