Noah and the Whale - Bush Hall, London - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

Noah and the Whale - Bush Hall, London

by Ross Timms Rating: Release Date:

It's always difficult to tell whether a band that's used to playing large venues really enjoys going back to the smaller ones. Whether their diva-sized egos can take a step back from their giddy heights and swap the seas of screaming fans, for the intimacy of a living-room sized space, packed full of only their most loyal of followers.

Luckily, if Noah and the Whale have even a speck of narcissism inside them, it wasn't on show this evening. Performing with all the virtue of a well versed five-piece but with the unassuming grace of a band humbled to be there, they are the illustrious sandwich filler of the New to Q tour, and demonstrate just why they're albums have become the soundtracks for aspiring bands.

The occasion isn't lost on Charlie Fink and his boys, who deliver a performance of illustrious grandeur, comparable to the majesty of the Bush Hall venue itself. The dulcet tones of violin, keyboard and a communal choir from a collective NATW voice, are inexcusably heart warming and are lapped up by every soul in the sold out room.

They intertwine the folk twangs of old and the delicate melodrama of their second outing, with an array of new synth-infused masterpieces from their anticipated third full length, Last Night on Earth. Their performance is less like your average tour date and more like an ode to all they have become over the past four years, and an impression as to the direction in which the Twickenham boys are heading.

After an hour of making sure every one's jaw is firmly dropped as far as the Bush Hall carpet, the spine-tingling 'The First Days of Spring' ends the night - temporality at least. They return to the stage, with a penultimate, ukulele-free rendition of 'Five Years Time' before the crowd is left with a final reminder of just how monumental the new album is set to be, saying their goodbyes to the sound of the dastardly catchy new single 'L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N.'

The 300 who were lucky enough to get their eager mitts on a ticket for tonight, witnessed the beginning of the future for NATW. A band that, although they have managed to try and shake off their flash-in-the-pan notoriety, are astonishingly still only known for a song about sun, zoos and bloke playing a tiny guitar (queue tuneful whistling).

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