Never Shout Never at the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire
On Friday night the American indie pop/punk band Never Shout Never played at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire in front of a sold-out crowd of hyper-energetic teenagers.
When the trio (Chris Drew: guitar, vocals and harmonica; Taylor MacFee: bass and vocals; and Hayden Kaiser: drums) emerged from the wings the sound was ear-splitting, and, from the persona of frontman Chris Drew, one can see why. He immediately expressed his enthusiasm for the crowd in a Southern accent dripping in positivity: “You guys are so awesome” was a recurrent phrase throughout the set. The band also interacted with the crowd on a personal level, pointing out fans and talking to them – much to the squealing approval of the ladies in the audience.
Never Shout Never displayed a solid stage presence, with convincing songs performed flawlessly. It was nice to see a pop/punk/rock band favour an acoustic guitar for the entire set, indicating that image isn’t everything.
The three-piece played a mix of songs from their new album Time Travel, as well as older tracks that the fans screamed along to. I have to merit the band for having a cocktail of musical influences; there were elements of pop, punk, folk (with a harmonica making a brief appearance), rock and funk. Bassist MacFee exhibited some Chillies-inspired bass lines that definitely fore-fronted the sound at times.
A mixture of predictable, catchy musical elements with surprising alterations kept the show fresh and interesting. The opening track ‘Till the Sun Comes Up’ exhibited a whole host of varying rhythms, which succeeded in keeping the pace up and the energy high.
It has to be said that Drew’s lyrics are truly cheesy at times, such as those from the very popular song ‘Can’t Stand It’. That moment was counter-balanced by their rendition of Bob Dylan’s ‘It Ain’t Me, Babe’.
The manic fans will need no encouragement, but Never Shout Never’s new album Time Travel is out now and the band hope to be hitting the UK again in the summer, so keep an eye out.
Photos: Chiara Ceccaioni