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by Carsten Windhorst

LondOnTheInside popped over to Shepherds Bush last week for the long awaited live return of doom pop favourites White Lies. In the first of a two night residency at the historic venue and with a top support line up of Active Child and Crocodiles (our noise pop favourites) the evening was set to be a real homecoming treat for a band who grew up minutes away.

After purchasing a copy of new record ‘Ritual’ a few weeks before the show and being pleasantly surprised (regardless of what the critics said) by a band expanding their sound and finding their feet in what could have been the traditional ‘difficult second album’, I was fully excited to hear how these songs would be conveyed live, but first the supports.

Active Child went on first to a relatively empty room but still seemed to grab the attention of those that had bothered to turn up early. The band have a certain ‘anthemic’ element reminiscent to that of the headliners and suited the bill nicely. Next up were Crocodiles, a band we hare at LondOnTheInside have been blogging about for some time. You can’t help but get involved in the bands onstage energy and with their noisy surf pop sounds to boot they are certainly one of the more underrated outfits currently on the scene. However they seemed to get somewhat of a lukewarm reception from a surprisingly older audience. We expected White Lies fans to be student types through to mid twenties but the band apparently seem to be appealing to a much wider bracket. Never the less we got our groove on to Crocs personal brand of rock n roll.

Finally White Lies took the stage to a rapture of applause. The band smart as ever in well cut suits kicked straight in to a predominantly new album heavy set. A brave move with the record only being a few weeks old and fans potentially not having been able to get to grips with it yet, but nevertheless new songs seemed to feel as familiar as the old ones. There was of course time in the set to fit in old favourites ‘Farewell to the Fairground’ and ‘Too Loose My Life’ before closing on arguably their best song to date the morbidly titled ‘Death’. After a few minutes hiatus the crowd were treated to an encore of new tracks climaxing in current single ‘Bigger Than Us’.

White Lies have always been a band who deliver big stadium friendly music and don’t be surprised to see them billed higher than you first imagined at this summer’s festivals. Don’t listen to the critics, go out and buy a copy of ‘Ritual’, an album far more optimistic than its dark predecessor but equally as good.