The 2,000 strong crowd in the beautiful venue that is the 109 year old Shepherds Bush Empire were buzzing with excitement for a rock show that i’m sure every single person in that grand room had been looking forward to for months. The lights went down, and the music started…
Florida four-piece There For Tomorrow kicked off the show with a triumphant set. The only non British band of the night in such a quintessentially British venue, but they sure didnt dissapoint! The first support are sometimes expected to be lacking in something compared to the other acts but that was not the case tonight. They were showered with huge amounts of love from gig-goers who were obviously big fans before the night, singing along with every word of most songs, creating the beautiful atmosphere which would carry on throughout the night. Finishing song A Little Faster was probably the song that got the crowd the most excited, as soon as singer Maika Maile uttered the song name long-term fans and new found fans alike went crazy and you could sense how much the crowd didn’t want them to leave the stage. They put on an awesome show and as a first timer myself, i would love to see them again!
Canterbury were the next band to bound onstage, and the crowd were almost as excited for them as they were for the headliners themselves! Luke and Mark’s joint vocals have always made this indie rock band interesting, and tonight they were as great as usual. Better even. They always seem to win over the crowd with both their boyish good looks- which is certainly something the excitable teenage girls appreciate- and their brilliant musical talents. They had the whole crowd moving almost as soon as they set foot on the stage. Current single Gloria got the crowds vocal chords warmed up for the grand finale which would be Deaf Havana!
The thousands of young rock fans in the room were just getting more and more excited as the minutes went by, and as the crew set the stage up for the headliners-including drummer Tom Ogden’s Ricky Gervais drum skin- emotions were running high and when the guys come onto the stage the building practically erupted with the adoration of the crowd.
The sentence that summed up the gig for singer James Veck-Gilodi was ‘this has been the best night of my life’, which just puts across to us exactly how much of a milestone the band feel they have reached on this tour. James explained the disgusting venues they had played in their early days, even literally a toilet… This is the biggest venue they’ve played in their 8 years of being together, and it’s by far the cleanest! Following a bout of illness from James a few days prior to this gig- which James battled through and played every show planned- there was a bit of worry perhaps for some fans, but he was back to his fine self and put on a brilliant rock show! The band seemed tight and professional throughout the entire set. The noise the crowd made following James’ ‘thankyou’ speech just showed how much his feelings towards his fans are reflected back to the band.
Certain songs had a new spin on them tonight, The Past Six Years being the standout one, but there was no doubt that the majority of fans adored these changes! Some old favourites such as Smiles All Round and You Are Beautiful came out of the bag too, making everyone all the more pumped for the remainder of the night! The boys left the stage, which called for screaming and chanting from the crowd, only to return for an encore of 3 extra songs joined by a very surprising group of people. It was the first time i’d ever witnessed a rock band performing with a gospel choir, the London Youth Gospel choir were an unexpected, but pleasant factor of the show and it gave the band a new element that not many other bands of their style could pull off. They really did make an awesome gig even better.
Every band tonight owned the show in their own unique way, although there was nobody who could quite steal the limelight from the men themselves; Deaf Havana.