The Boxer Rebellion at the Forum
The Boxer Rebellion played their first headline London gig in two years at Kentish Town’s Forum last night. It was a very solid performance that did not stray too far from The Boxer Rebellion’s very tight-knit take on indie rock, but it had a few hidden gems.
The band started with very nervous “hellos” before bursting into a very loud, very rocky Step Out of the Car from album The Cold Still. But after this, the music got a little slower, and more like classic indie, which built up around singer Nathan Nicholson’s wails and into long dreamy guitar riffs and drum outros.
The set focused on better-known songs from their first and second albums, but also showcased their newest release Promises. The songs Evacuate and Spitting Fire from Union received the most uproar from a mostly middle aged audience, who remained quite sensible during the entire set.
The most memorable pieces ended up being the ones that dared to do something different, even if they did not receive quite the same level of applause. Fragile from The Boxer Rebellion’s new album Promises had a slight 80s vibe to it, with an electronic drumbeat and a synth-based intro conceived for the live performance. It seemed to be received with much confusion, as it was so different to its original arrangement with steady guitars and drums.
New York was another song that surprised the crowd – but was also a happy break from the consistent flow of indie rock. It started very slowly, with Nicholson taking centre stage, the light shining only on him as he played keyboard and sweetly serenaded the audience. It could have very nearly been a sombre and forgettable ballad, but then Nicholson wailed: “In New York” and was joined by three band members playing drums resembling a sort of carnival style jamboree. A very unexpected ending.
New song Diamonds was a particular highlight of the set, with deep vocals, a catchy drumbeat and long guitar solos. The guitarist seemed to make the most out of it and was found leaning into the audience for the song.
Just before the encore, Watermelon saw both the singer and the guitarist jump into the audience, but much to The Forum security’s dismay, Nicholson was very awkwardly pulled out of the front row like a child.
Photos: Filippo L’Astorina
For further information and future events visit The Boxer Rebellion’s website here.
Watch the video for Diamonds here: