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The Head and the Heart Hoxton Hall, London live review

The Head and the Heart were on fine form, after a two year wait.

The Head & The Heart
Credit: James Minchin

The Head and the Heart have been together for seven years. The band originally hail from (the hot bed of talent that has found itself to come out of and be based in) Seattle. They have a very large fan base in the United States, often selling out huge arenas. The band have recently released their third album Signs of Light and they have a growing fan base in London. Playing at the tiny 120 capacity Hoxton Hall was a great opportunity to see the band up close. They last visited London two years ago, when they played at The Scala. And their fans couldn’t wait to see them performing live here once again. Hoxton Hall is a somewhat of an unusual venue, it’s so small and the upstairs seating part looks like the view you’d get from sitting in church – the stage is down below and you have a perfect birds eye view of everything.

The band opened up with the lead single from their new album – All We Ever Knew and their warmth and closeness as a band instantly came across. Song after song, the band delivered a flawless set. The acoustics in the Hoxton Hall are particularly great and the songs seem to come alive in such a tiny space. The band are clearly passionate about each and every one of their songs – giving their all to each track and fully getting in to the groove of things. Ghosts had some beautiful moments and the dynamics of the band – with the mix of female and male vocals mean that there is a lot of depth and the contrast in their tones combined is rather special.

Down in the Valley was a huge highlight, and a very popular song in the back catalogue. It’s one of those songs where the entire room joins in, word for word – even taking over from the band at some points in the song. This is what live music is all about. Their indie/folk/rock material sounds fresh and they seem to have something for everyone.

Their set seemed to fly by and after only a full hour of play, the band left the stage, only to come back on for the encore moments later. Your Mother’s Eyes and Library Magic made us want the night to last a bit longer, you feel like you can just sit there for a good few hours enjoying watching them performing live. What better way to finish the set off than with Rivers and Roads – a stomper of a track where the crowd again took over the song – it’s a rather epic song and a firm fan favourite, it meant that the evening finished on a complete high.

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There are rumours that they will be back in London again in January, a fact that was confirmed from the band. On their next visit, hopefully they will decide to play in a larger venue, so that more people can witness them live (and to put a smile back on the faces on those fans that were eagerly standing outside the Hoxton Hall, hoping for spare tickets to see the band that they love).

Set list: 1. All We Ever Knew. 2. City of Angels 3. Ghosts 4. Rhythm & Blues 5. Another Story 6. Let’s Be Still 7. Lost in My Mind 8. Winter Song 9. Oh My Dear 10. I Don’t Mind 11. Sounds Like Hallelujah 12. Down in the Valley 13 Your Mother’s Eyes 14. Library Magic 15. Rivers and Roads Performance date: 28th September 2016


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