Picture This at the Forum
At their only London date, fast-rising Irish band Picture This satisfied a wide spectrum of expectations. There was indeed something for the many concertgoers who made it to the sold-out midweek gig at the Kentish Town Forum: those seeking a refreshing take on pop, those enjoying the convincing development of the group from their debut LP in 2015 and even those eager to take a good look at shirtless Ryan Hennessy. The new album from the four-piece, MDRN LV, is an exhilarating series of robust pop numbers infused with light influences from other genres.
The night started with three hits from this latest release, Modern Love, If You Wanna Be Loved and You & I, probably the most exciting tracks, which had all of the band members, if not literally jumping like singer Hennessy – who especially mastered his steps for the night – at the very least playing with gusto.
It was during Dance Away With Me that those extra musical sways kicked in. A very danceable piece, as the title already suggested, it particularly exalted the acoustic guitars. In Hurt Nobody, the falsetto dominated the accompanying instruments. The background, which had been left rather black so far, became prominent with Addicted to You, when repetitive television screens were projected onto it, visually bombarding the audience with the digitally-themed surroundings in which the young love story is enveloped.
The lyrics became more interesting when light-hearted elements of daily life broke into the occasionally repetitive sweet and hard-fought romantic line. Life of the Party was a great funky synth piece on the matter of fitting in with the party vibe with a spell of rocking refrain.
Going back to the subject of love, More than Just Tonight came soon afterwards as a tender letter about a date that the protagonist wished to be more than a “hopeful night”. The song featured thumping percussion with a satisfying conclusive drumroll by Jimmy Rainsford.
Towards the end of the gig, Hennessy stood alone on the stage for a warm acoustic version of Jane. Heavy beats were soon back with One Drink, and the whole forum were inflamed by When We Were Young as well as by the frontman getting down into the pit, caressing the stretched hands of the first row and picking up an Irish flag from the screaming fans. The rumbling grand finale was signed off with Take My Hand. Vigorous and banging all over the place, Picture This set the night alight with a blazing gig.
Photos: Cristiana Ferrauti
For further information and future events visit Picture This’s website here.
Watch the video for Let’s Be Young here: