Nothing but Thieves at The Warehouse
British rockers Nothing but Thieves aim to live up to their name and steal the show. There aren’t a lot of shows up for grabs nowadays, so any band that has the dedication to host an online concert is raising the bar. Live and not in person from The Warehouse, London, Nothing but Thieves ease us into the night with Is Everybody Going Crazy?, the first single from their latest record Moral Panic. The band stand in a circle, facing each other, rather than the non-existent crowd. Vocalist Conor Mason’s powerful falsetto is hypnotic, even through the screen; though glass and many miles separate the audience from the performance, it’s raw, like watching them record in a studio. The intense strobe lighting and Mason’s introduction to the following song remind us that this is, in fact, a show, and it’s live.
In normal circumstances, hit single Amsterdam would get the most reaction, but it’s hard to gauge the atmosphere when only the band is visible. Mason dances to the repetitive beat of James Price’s drums before jumping back onto the mic. Without the crowd, it’s down to the band to generate the mood, and they definitely make it good.
Without pause, guitarist Joe Langridge-Brown seamlessly transitions into Hanging, which would be another crowd-pleaser. It must feel awkward for Mason to thank an empty room, but keyboardist Dominic Craik provides the solution with built-in applause that spurs them on to another new number, Free if We Want It. Mason says this is among his favourites of the songs he’s written, and you can tell: he effortlessly hits the insanely high notes, while the rest of the band add emotion, notably in the catchy guitar chords and Philip Blake’s bass.
The pace slows for Last Orders, and Mason’s vocal range shines even more with only the accompaniment of two guitars. The heavier Unperson shows off the versatility of the band, as they drift easily between genres – they even slip in a cover of Radiohead’s Just, which sounds like it could be part of their own catalog.
Visuals that would form the backdrop of the stage appear simultaneously with the band on-screen in penultimate track This Feels Like the End. The high energy continues, culminating in Impossible: it is a workout, starting off slow, letting viewers warm up, before developing into Nothing but Theives’s usual high-octane sound – and then it winds down again, the perfect closer.
Instead of being soaked in beer, possibly trampled in a crowd-surf and definitely far too close to other sweaty human beings, the online gig format means you can enjoy good music from the safety of your home. Though it’s not live music in the traditional sense, it does take the edge off self-isolation.
Photo: Anthony Black
For further information and future events visit Nothing but Thieves’s website here.
Watch the video for the single Impossible here: