White Lies at the Hammersmith Apollo
An old-school black, white and red, giant neon display board reads “White Lies” at the Hammersmith Apollo on an unusually warm March night. Previously known as Fear of Flying, they began their post-punk musical journey not far from the venue in Ealing back in 2007, and they are back to promote their new album, As I Try Not to Fall Apart. 9pm hits and the colourful background light show foreshadows a shift in the band’s former, familiar musical style.
Harry McVeigh, the lead singer and guitarist of White Lies, takes the stage in an immaculately ironed white shirt and elegant black trousers, and immediately jumps onto the guitar with old classic Farewell to the Fairground. With the continuous swapping of electric and bass guitars, the band slaloms between old and modern classics, and the crowd in the seated upper circle get on their feet and dance, whistle and clap throughout, not once returning to their seats.
Despite White Lies being called a post-punk band, their performance definitely operates on the more theatrical and sophisticated end of the spectrum as far as punk concerts go. Their newly released album, As I Try Not to Fall Apart, further contributes to this energy, and it feels like a new beginning in the group’s musical journey. Synth and dance rhythms transform their new tracks, such as Am I Really Going to Die? and Blue Drift, into funky experiences, which pleasantly surprises the audience and phone torches light up the venue.
The second half of the set welcomes Big TV; the hall is painted in green neon and the synth keyboard becomes the focus. The crowd cheers and claps as a confetti show takes the gig a step further. White Lies‘s return for an encore is satisfying as the trio perform not just one or two songs, but three. They say goodbye with Bigger Than Us, giant black-and-white balloons fill the Apollo and the smoke machine is worked to its full potential. It’s hard to deny that London holds a special place in the band’s heart.
Photos: Nick Bennett
For further information and future events visit White Lies’s website here.
Watch the video for the single Am I Really Going to Die here: