The Hope, Brighton

Tom Williams and The Boat

On an unfortunately dreary evening in Brighton, one of the brightest prospects in British indie rock paid a visit to The Hope, most likely wishing that their performance would mask the gloom of the world outside.

Opening affairs was singer songwriter, Helen Nicholson, whose powerful delivery, breathtaking vocal range and captivating story telling in her song writing was immediately made evident through the enticing ‘November’. Despite lowering the tone following her punchy entrance with gorgeous renditions of ‘The Night Comes Early’ and ‘Maybe’, her distinct voice and charming, yet humorous character shone throughout, to highlight her emphatic talent. There’s a seriously exciting amount of potential for Helen, so once her wings are in full flight, we could be seeing a classic performer in the making.

Sadly, Poco Tiger seemed disjointed from the start, with every glimmer of promise being eventually soured by an uneasy tendency to follow with an anti-climactic downfall. Hardly standing firm, their performance seemed under-rehearsed and therefore reeked of a lack of confidence. There’s certainly the occasional moment of promise for this band, but it’s hard to defend them from an overall perspective.

On the other hand, main support, The Standard Lamps were an absolute pleasure to behold. As their talented front man injected venom into their performance with an energetic and polished vocal display whilst shredding his guitar to pieces, their accomplished rhythm section allowed their sound to flourish through impressive precision. Anthemic and full of life, this band are set to top bills like these in no time at all.

Tonight’s headliners however are arguably one of the country’s brightest talents and have recently released their outstanding third record “Easy Fantastic”. During a showcase of both old and new material, the band demonstrate their ability to seamlessly fluctuate between the melodic joy of the likes of “All Day” and the more sombre “Satellite” to show true class. However, Tom Williams’ lyricism shines as a defining element to their brilliance, with “Too Young” in particular bearing the touch of a Glastonbury headliner. Dynamic, atmospheric and distinct, “The Boat” have managed to ride their own tangent of the indie rock spectrum and create a sound which provokes thought and reflection. I really do hope that they continue to thrive through their own methods. Regardless of their commercial stature, we need this band to exist. Utterly outstanding.


Words by George “I Wish I Had a Boat” Fullerton