Discover Tom Williams and the Boat
Headlining HMV’s “Next Big Thing” at Camden’s famous Jazz Café Wednesday February 8, Tom Williams and the Boat give a first impression akin to Arcade Fire. But to assume this passionate, fiery and exciting band are something of a poor-man’s version – a criticism that is likely to be tiringly aimed at them – is belittling and unworthy.
Tom Williams strikes as a lyrical musician; many of the songs snag on poetic gems, which drag our attention briefly away from the tight orchestral volume of the Boat. These can, however, occasionally be jarring and it would be nice to see Tom Williams become the lyricists he seems to have the potential to become.
As a group, Tom Williams and the Boat have brought together a seemingly disparate collection of sounds, comprising the grating guitars of Nirvana, the understated classical hums and subtle builds of The National – and yet still make a sound that is entirely their own. This is a refreshing attribute of any new band.
It is, perhaps, this self-confidence that feeds into an irresistibly energetic live performance and a flawlessly tight and drawn together sound.
There seems, sadly, to be a gap in the market for self-assured bands – maybe Tom Williams and the Boat are here to fill it.