22ND NOVEMBER 2013
Lucius took to the stage to a packed house in the heart of the East End, fronted by the harmonically delicious Holly Laessig and Jess Wolf. Covering The Beatles is a tough ask, and their set opener was the posthumously released Free As A Bird. More infamous as the cut and paste tune by the Fab Three plus a beyond the grave John Lennon, it was a bold move by the Brooklyn band which was justified by retaining their own distinctive sound. The intimate setting was a chance to witness the lush tones and expressive palate that Lucius are becoming known for, however the live experience was a lot more powerful than we expected.
When “How Loud Does Your Heart Get” dropped, the emotion and almost country twang was not immediately apparent. In a live setting you can hear soul, doo-wop, The Ronettes mashed up with Kate Bush, Bjork and even a splash of Lloretta Lynn for good measure. Aside from the brilliant frontwomen, percussionist and producer Dan Molad is on-point. You can hear how every instrument is given space to breathe. It’s an over-looked component of live performance, that gives the audience a chance to digest each nuance, and lets the melodies ring out.
“Don’t Just Sit There” is uplifting, four to the floor bass drum, and has the audience captivated with the arpeggio acoustic riff, cymbal splashes, and quite beautiful middle section our favourite of the evening. It’s an irresistible combination of superb musicianship, crystalline pop melodies and an aesthetic that is both retrospective and stylish without being kitsch or cheesy.
With regards to audience reaction, selling out a Thursday night on a cold November night and moving a stereotypically slow to react London crowd is testament to the hard work, and talent that the band possess. With sold-out gigs stateside, and a musical and artistic package which could crossover to the mainstream, we fear it maybe the last time one can be this close to a band whose mercury rises with each passing gig.