The Brook, Southampton

3rd February 2014

The Boxer Rebellion

After a 4 year hiatus Southampton welcomes the return of one of Indie/Rock’s finest, The Boxer Rebellion.

The room is a mere half full when tour support Christof takes to the stage. Christof is tall, with quite a distinct look and warms this crowd up with some gentle, acoustic songs with heartfelt lyrics. With quite a distinct accent he soon explains he’s from Holland (via Ireland)! “Many Tears” is one of many personal songs in his set that also sees a few changes between acoustic and electric guitars. Jeff Buckley would be an obvious comparison but Christof has a uniqueness all of his own, while his “gurning” tortured expressions are quite a sight to see! Despite at times being drowned by noise from the bar Christof carries on regardless with some intricate chord changes that look unrehearsed, but clearly are not. He exits on a song called “Empty Handed” but on this evidence he won’t be for long!


Christof 1

The Boxer Rebellion take to the stage around 9 and open with “Semi Automatic”. It’s been too long but those 4 years haven’t been wasted if this performance is anything to go by. Those searing guitars and heavy drums-a staple of The Boxer Rebellion sound have not disappeared, they’ve just returned stronger. Nathan’s vocals are clear and show no ring-rust, despite this being the first night of the tour. “Step Out of the Car” and “Take Me Back” see those chiming guitars return from Todd (lead) while Adam (bass) is pulling some interesting shapes while contorting his guitar, which to me echoes bands of the mid 80’s Post/Punk era.

The Boxer Rebellion
The Boxer Rebellion 12

By the time they play “New York” the sound seems to have intensified with a powerful wall of sound in the room. “We Have This Place Surrounded” is simply great and a set highlight as the band show their shoegaze credentials. TBR are the missing link between Indie/Rock and Shoegaze which I feel sets them apart from their peers. Nathan dedicates “You Belong To Me” to those in the room looking forward to Valentines Day, with a wry smile! Those searing guitars are most forcibly felt on “Always”, alongside Piers (drums) bludgeoning snare. The stadium-sized, overall sound tonight is immense and the band succeed in delighting this near full room with their songs, old and new. One or two songs tonight echoed a smattering of The Killers, but this is no tribute show that they are the real deal. Taking influence from many corners they create a sound totally their own, which for this reviewer has been a delight this evening. They leave us on “The Gospel of Goro Adachi”, and with no encore leave us begging for more. But this 90 minute plus show reminds us why they are still around.

Set List
Semi Automatic
Take Me Back
Step Out Of The Car
New York
Spitting Fire
We Have This Place Surrounded
No Harm
You Belong To Me
Keep Moving
Water Melon
Caught By The Light
The Gospel of Goro Adachi

The Boxer Rebellion


Web Links

Words By Ross “Elusive” Ferrone
Pictures & Videos By Dave “I like a gig” Chinery (Chinners)

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