You know when you do things because the person you like wants to do it and you want to spend time with them? That's how I ended up at The Old Blue Last in Shoreditch this week to watch two acts I knew nothing about other than their names. What started as a night of spending time with someone lovely turned into a night of seeing some fantastic music with someone lovely and I got to discover Northcote and their support The Lion And The Wolf.
The Lion And The Wolf took to the tiny OBL stage about 9pm and I instantly pointed out that he had a cast on, so how could he play guitar? Apparently he broke his wrist skateboarding. The room, which was half full at this point, fell completely silent as soon as he began his set of acoustic melancholy tunes. I think the best word to describe the performance would be captivating. This was a world away from the fast-and-loud punk rock that I'm used to but I couldn’t take my eyes away from the stage. In all honesty the music isn't something I'd ever listen to on my record player but live The Lion And The Wolf really are fantastic; he is an incredibly talented performer.
Canadian four piece Northcote really impressed me. I can't remember the last time I saw a band that I'd never listened to before and enjoyed it anywhere near as much as I enjoyed Northcote. They reminded me of a cross between Red City Radio and The Gaslight Anthem (before they sucked). This was passionate and heartfelt punk rock with a healthy dose of blues. Lead singer Matt Goud is an extremely likeable frontman who clearly loves what he does and puts every last ounce of energy into his performance. There were three stages in Northcotes performance: firstly the full band playing electrically, then Goud playing acoustically on his own and lastly acoustically whilst being backed by the band. All were fantastic and the changes in style really stopped the performance from getting stale. Northcote played a selection of old songs as well as some new ones from their upcoming album, Hope Is Made Of Steel, which I am now very excited to check out, you should too!