Madding Crowd, Bournemouth

Bournemouth’s premier town centre music venue the Madding Crowd (formerly Maddison’s Nightclub) has bagged themselves a totally exclusive and unmissable performance by London post/punk band “White Lies”. The special one-off semi-acoustic performance is aimed to show a side of the band that their fans have never seen before. As the band build-up to the release of their next album “As I Try Not To Fall Apart” in February 2022 and an extensive UK and European Tour, tonight’s intimate event is an unexpected treat for the band’s loyal fan base. Tickets for the event sold out well in advance and the 300 strong crowd wait to see what the band has to offer, with an air of high expectation. Before the show, Harry from the band said “we’re excited to put this together, a totally new one-off show. We’ve been digging through our archive of albums and reworking songs to perform in this intimate setting here at the Madding Crowd. And who knows…it might be the only time we ever do it!”

Jack Steggles
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Before the band takes to the stage, support act Jack Steggles is here to musically warm up the crowd with his unique experimental style. Jack uses a host of technology to create music in an anomalous way combining looped sounds from his fender Stratocaster guitar; with beatboxing and vocal harmonizing, along with his own live vocals on some of his original tracks as well as a couple of covers. The first of the covers is a radically reworked version of the Gorillaz “Feel Good Inc”, where Jack uses his electronic resources to bring the song alive. The last track of the set is a version of Basille’s “Pompeii” where Jack starts off the opening part with an acapella vocal, before building the song layer by layer to create something quite special. Tonight’s audience is not the ideal crowd to be introduced to this musician’s style as most are here impatiently waiting for the headliners; however looking around, many people showed positive reactions and appreciated the skills that Jack had to offer.

Finally, the time has arrived for “White Lies” to take to the stage and it has been a long 12 years since they last visited this town and there is an air of excitement coming from the audience. There are cameras spaced around the room as the gig is to be recorded for a future broadcast/release and this along with the unique style of performing is clearly giving an extra edge to the gig. Tonight’s set-up consists of Harry McVeigh on acoustic guitar/lead vocals, Jack Lawrence-Brown – stripped back drum kit, Charles Cave on Bass/Backing vocals) and regular touring musician Tommy Bowen on Keyboards.

The band kicks off with “There Goes Our Love Again” from the 2013 album “Big TV” and the audience need no encouraging to sing-a-long the lyrics in unison with Harry. The venue’s acoustics really show off the band’s sound and with the stripped-back style, you can hear some of the songs as they probably started off, before the big sound production was injected into them. After the first few songs the band get over their initial nerves and settle down, showing off their considerable music-making skills, and the audience is treated to the live debut of the band’s latest single “As I Try Not To Fall Apart” along with another brand new song “I Don’t Want To Go To Mars”.

White Lies
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You can just feel the atmosphere in here tonight and animated looks on the members of the audience’s faces. Many have travelled a long way to be at this special gig tonight and the band certainly don’t disappoint, as they have clearly worked hard rehearsing this set to make sure everything is just right for their fans. Three of the band members leave Harry on the stage to bravely perform a couple of solo songs both from the “Big TV” album, which include “First Time Caller” along with “Change” – and of course, he absolutely nails both!

The set comes to a close after two further full-band songs including the modern gothic anthem “Death”; which gives the well-versed audience another chance to sing the lyrics with them, sounding like a choir with “This Fears got a hold on me” ringing out from all corners of the venue. The final song “Bigger Than Us” is the band’s typical closing number and leaves the audience clearly wanting more, there was talk of an encore but the band decided to leave it just there. After the show the band commented “Thank you to the Madding Crowd for giving us the opportunity to try something new, we were so apprehensive before we went on stage, but loved every minute of it once we were out there. We weren’t expecting the crowd to sing along like they did to every song and it being the gig without using our in-ear monitors, we could hear every word”. A memorable night that will go down as possibly one of the best evenings that this venue has witnessed.

White Lies Set List
Morning in LA
Farewell to the Fairground
Is My Love Enough
Take It Out on Me
As I Try Not To Fall Apart
To Lose My Life
Don’t Fall
Unfinished Business
I Don’t Want To Go To Mars
First Time Caller (Harry solo)
Change (Harry solo)
Bigger Than Us



Article & Pictures by David Chinery (Chinners)
Video by MegaGlitterball & thetalentedmrman (YouTube)

White Lies