Live Review: Hudson Taylor – Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London

Editor's Review

Summary

Hudson Taylor left their adoring fans buzzing and ignited with amazing memories.

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User Rating: 10.0 (1 votes)
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Photo by Natalie Michele Davis – www.nataliemicheledavis.com / @natmichele
Having got their break from busking on the streets of Dublin; which is still a vital part of their performance ethic, Hudson Taylor were now set to play their biggest headline show to date at London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire.

… We were even treated to a snippet of their latest single, ‘World Without You’ outside the venue whilst we queued!

The first support act was Belfast’s own, Southern, fronted by brother and sister, Lucy and Thom. These guys felt slightly reminiscent of Simple Minds with their alternative rock sound. Their songs oozed sensual harmonies and for a band that has only been around for three years they were able to radiate a vast amount of self-assurance in their sound.

Their cool confidence contrasted greatly with the loud presence of the next band, The Mispers. Having adopted their name from the police term for missing persons, it proved a great fit, as the five-piece appeared an unlikely set up, inviting the audience to come and get lost with them. The Mispers were made up of rhythm and electric guitars, drums and a violin; they are a perfect example of how string instruments can be effortlessly incorporated into an alternative rock sound. Frontman, Jack Balfour Scott, brought a level of confidence and intensity to every song, which gave their set a strong, and most welcomed, element of theatricality.

Then came the final blackout, screams of delight filled the venue as we all eagerly waited for the Irish duo. Their three accompanying band members arrived on stage to a warm welcome from the crowd and were soon joined by Harry and Alfie. The set was started up with ‘Just A Thought’, which established the atmosphere nicely for the duration of the gig. The brothers took us on a journey through their rich song collection, showing us the light and shade of their gentle numbers contrasting with their more upbeat tracks. The boys gave their songs meaning for the audience with added short introductions interspersed throughout the set.

A lovely moment emerged when the Dublin brothers asked the audience for quiet as they gave us a wonderful off microphone rendition of their song ‘Arrive’; which they explained reflected their roots as buskers. We were then treated to guest appearances from fellow singer-songwriters Gabrielle Aplin and Jack Morris, as they assisted in singing ‘Don’t Know Why’ – a song beautifully expressing the importance of family, which was made all the more emotionally charged when the audience were invited to sing the chorus

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Photo by Natalie Michele Davis – www.nataliemicheledavis.com / @natmichele

 

After those soothing numbers, the crowd was reignited once more when Hudson Taylor made time for a favourite of theirs, ‘Trouble Town’. The slow-building song soon got everyone jumping with its intense, hard-hitting chorus. From then on came the crowd favorites, with 2,000 voices whole-heartedly belting out the lyrics to ‘Care’ and ‘Chasing Rubies’. What was so surprising throughout was the amazing crowd reaction they received after every song. Whether the tune sombre or more buoyant, raucus screams and cheers were always offered. This was so graciously received by the lads, who stopped frequently to express their immense gratitude to the crowd.

The final highlight came when they performed their 2012 hit, ‘Battles’. The show ended on a final bow from the band, leaving the audience buzzing and free to exit the venue with nothing but amazing memories.

 

Check out our recent exclusive Playedbare Session and interview with Hudson Taylor:

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