WHITE LIES + VLURE – CHALK, BRIGHTON 18.3.22
For tonight’s account, the Brighton & Hove News Music Team have tried something a little novel and so Andrew James is reporting on headliners White Lies, whilst Nick Linazasoro is giving his account of their support act VLURE. Over to Andrew…
Chalk house lights go down and the buzz in the air is electric. Blue neon lights chase horizontally across the back of the stage, Harry McVeigh vocals and guitar, Charles Cave bass guitar and backing vocals, Jack Lawrence-Brown drums; The White Lies trio with keyboard player Tommy Bowen walk onto the stage.
The crowd show their appreciation, as it’s a real treat to see this band play a more intimate size venue to promote their 6th studio album ‘As I Try Not To Fall Apart’.
They hit straight into ‘Farewell To The Fairground’, one of the biggest hits to date, and a personal favourite of mine, an anthem of a song with the audience chanting back “Keep on running there’s no place like home”. The awkward and removed coolness they presented on the first tour and TV debut “Later with Jools Holland” in May 2018 has been honed to perfection. The second song of the night is ‘There Goes Our Love Again’ a beautiful song with that perfect indie drum beat and Harry’s vocals cutting through like rough velvet. Chalk is rammed tonight, and the crowd know every word. “Hello Brighton and it’s sold out, thanks” says Harry and then launches into ‘Am I Really Going To Die’ from the new album. The band are so tight it seems effortless for them (in a good way), a true skill. Next, it’s ‘To Lose My Life’ . This track soars through Chalk and the crowd chant “Let’s grow old together and die the same time” (what a beautiful thought).
These West London guys are nailing it. ‘Blue Drift’ a new track is now offered with a slowing down beat halfway through and then a build to completion. Then onto ‘Hurt My Heart’ a bouncy indie song lesser known to me but appreciated by the crowd with a great guitar riff. One thing I notice is the crowd aren’t talkers and stay focused on the experience, I call that dedication! ‘Is My Love Enough’ a song for overthinkers with lyrics “I don’t know what to feel anymore” and now they enter again into the new album with ‘Step Outside’ with more of a funky vibe and certainly catchy. ‘Take It Out On Me’ a diamond of a song, everyone chants back to the band “I’m in love with the feeling, maybe hooked on the healing”.
The White Lies don’t say very much just get on with the job, the fans seem to know this and appreciate that the band will fit in as many songs as they can. A slow atmospheric build now starts to the wonderful track ‘Big TV’ and then it hits to levels that take the night to a different and higher zone. The guys are telling us they have a room downtown with a bed and a big TV, what more could we possibly want? For another new track they offer ‘There Is No Cure For It’ a smooth number that shows Harry’s vocals beautifully. Harry now tells the audience that the next song was their first single and thanks fans for their support. ‘Unfinished Business’ a great song that opened the path of success for them and they certainly haven’t looked back. The evenings sound and lights are outstanding for a venue this size. I see why chalk is so successful as an independent venue. ‘Tokyo’ soars now across the crowd and all of us seem in total rhythm with the night’s set. They then move into ‘I Don’t Want To Go To Mars’ (I mean what kind of a brainwashed idiot does?) with amber lights glowing onto the audience and band from the back of the stage, this works so perfectly with the song. This is the last track of the set and the band thank the audience, but of course we know there’s an encore coming.
It doesn’t take long to wait before the White Lies appear back on stage to rapturous applause. This encore comes in the form of ‘Death’ with white lights that glow and haunt and we are put into a dream world as Harry sings “This fears got a hold of me”, this song is perfection. They now tell us this is the last song of the night and it’s an intriguing choice, the title track of the new album ‘As I Try Not To Fall Apart’ they obviously want us to remember the title.
It’s a punchy and catchy tune and they know it. They thank the audience and take a bow; the night is over but the White Lies certainly aren’t. This is the 6th studio album, and they deserve great success with their great musicianship and an intuition of what to do next… budding musicians look, listen and learn, these guys are a great example for any up-and-coming band.
White Lies are:
Harry McVeigh (lead vocals, guitar)
Charles Cave (bass guitar, backing vocals)
Jack Lawrence-Brown (drums)
Tommy Bowen (keyboards)
White Lies setlist:
‘Farewell To The Fairground’ (from 2009 ‘To Lose My Life…’ album)
‘There Goes Our Love Again’ (from 2013 ‘Big TV’ album)
‘Am I Really Going To Die’ (from 2022 ‘As I Try Not to Fall Apart’ album)
‘To Lose My Life’ (from 2009 ‘To Lose My Life…’ album)
‘Blue Drift’ (from 2022 ‘As I Try Not to Fall Apart’ album)
‘Hurt My Heart’ (from v2 re-issue of ‘Five’ album)
‘Is My Love Enough’ (found on 2016 ‘Friends’ album)
‘Step Outside’ (from 2022 ‘As I Try Not to Fall Apart’ album)
‘Take It Out On Me’ (found on 2016 ‘Friends’ album)
‘Big TV’ (from 2013 ‘Big TV’ album)
‘There Is No Cure For It’ (from 2022 ‘As I Try Not to Fall Apart’ album)
‘Unfinished Business’ (from 2009 ‘To Lose My Life…’ album)
‘Tokyo’ (found on 2019 ‘Five’ album)
‘I Don’t Want To Go To Mars’ (from 2022 ‘As I Try Not to Fall Apart’ album)
‘Death’ (from 2009 ‘To Lose My Life…’ album)
‘As I Try Not To Fall Apart’ (from 2022 ‘As I Try Not to Fall Apart’ album)
‘Bigger Than Us’ (from 2011 ‘Ritual’ album)
Find out more at www.whitelies.com
Now it’s over to Nick…
Post-punk quintet Vlure (stylized as VLURE) formed back in 2018. A trio of them hail from Glasgow (frontman Hamish Hutcheson, bassist Niall Goldie and guitarist Conor Goldie), whereas keyboardist Alex Pearson comes from Reading and drummer Carol Kriekaard originated in The Hague in the Netherlands.
VLURE were in Brighton back on 27th November 2021, when they performed at the Green Door Store as the penultimate night of their eight date UK tour, which had already called in at Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, and London. The final date was in Leeds.
Back in January this year, they dropped their 5 track ‘Euphoria’ EP, which took over the mantle from their terrific ‘Shattered Faith’ debut single release, which came out in March 2021.
This evening at Chalk their set commenced at 7:29pm with a poem from a colleague of theirs who stood not on the stage, but on the back of the crowd barrier. This set the tone for frontman Hamish Hutcheson’s in-yer-face performance as he too addressed the crowd with his enthusiastic barrage of Glaswegian burrs during their seven song 30 minute set. Thirty minutes being the ideal time in which to lay down the gauntlet for the evening and to flag up that 30 minutes will be all they will need in order to gain a whole host of new VLURE fans, not just tonight but when they return to Brighton in May for The Great Escape.
Hamish is the ideal charismatic person to have out front. You can’t help taking your eyes off of him. His performance is edgy and you don’t quite know where he is going next as he patrols the crowd barrier from left to right. Could this be the new Joe Talbot? Hamish’s bandmates not only look the part, but they sound the part too! To me, it’s a wonderful conglomeration of SCALPING, The Ninth Wave and The Murder Capital rolled into one, with added KLF and mid 1980’s to early 90s synth and an industrial EBM vibe.
They opened with ‘Desire’ which is the B-side of ‘Shattered Faith’, which was a most promising start and the by now mostly packed crowd loved them and were on board. ‘Show Me How To Live Again’ came next and was the first of four numbers culled from their ‘Euphoria’ EP. This was followed by ‘I Won’t Run (From Love)’ which reminded me of Simple Minds and Alex’s backing vocals were rather enjoyable during this tune. ‘Heartbeat’ bopped along rather nicely, but was immediately eclipsed by new number ‘Cut It’.….and indeed it does cut it, with its KLF sound going down. In fact Hamish’s vocals can be likened to that of Bill Drummond’s.
Their debut single ‘Shattered Faith’ was up next and for me was the highlight of their most enjoyable set. A good comparison with this number is ‘My Name Is Ruin’ by Gary Numan as they both have wailing vocals and keys in an Arabic/North African vibe. VLURE would in fact be the perfect act to open up the forthcoming Numan tour as well. The Numanoids would take them to their heart. For their final number, ‘Euphoria’, Hamish clambered over the crowd barrier and went on walkabout through the crowd, whilst remonstrating the lyrics directly into punters’ faces. As you would expect, some loved it, some were bemused and some were very embarrassed in a British kinda way.
This had been a most energetic set by a band that will soon be headlining this size venue in their own right. Sadly, they were all done by 7:59pm and the White Lies crowd loved them, big time! See you in Horatio’s on Brighton Pier in May then guys!
Hamish Hutcheson (vocals)
Conor Goldie (guitars, synths)
Niall Goldie (bass)
Carlo Kriekaard (drums)
Alex Pearson (synths, keys)
‘Desire’ (found on 2021 ‘Shattered Faith’ single)
‘Show Me How To Live Again’ (found on 2022 ‘Euphoria’ EP)
‘I Won’t Run (From Love)’ (found on 2022 ‘Euphoria’ EP)
‘Heartbeat’ (found on 2022 ‘Euphoria’ EP)
‘Cut It’ (unreleased)
‘Shattered Faith’ (found on 2021 ‘Shattered Faith’ single)
‘Euphoria’ (found on 2022 ‘Euphoria’ EP)
Check out VLURE on Bandcamp.