White Lies – Concorde 2, Brighton – 31st January 2019

White Lies - Concorde 2, Brighton
Photo by Liam McMillen

In our recent interview with indie rockers White Lies, frontman Harry McVeigh told that, “With us, we’ve stuck to the course. We haven’t necessarily grown any bigger, but we haven’t gone anywhere at the same time. We still attract new people.” This was evidently clear with their Concorde 2 show – the first date of their huge UK tour in support of their brand-new album Five – where they showcased an awesome exhibition of their entire catalogue to an extremely passionate crowd both young and old.

From older crowd members who were no doubt there since day one – one of which showered the band with praise between each and every song (“You just sound just as good live as you do on record” a personal favourite of mine on the night) – to brand-new fans screaming along to every lyric, this show was the perfect example of just how influential the indie behemoths have become. A quintessential pop band in so many ways, White Lies were nothing less than iconic.

Before the arrival of the band though, the audience were subjected to one of indie-pop’s brightest young starlets. Signed to Transgressive Records, Canada’s Boniface is an exuberant pop hit-maker and, from the way the Concorde 2 crowd reacted to the indie outfit, this tour could be the making of the band, fronted by Micah Visser. From euphoric synth-pop bop ‘Dear Megan’, to the more melancholic ‘Again & Again’, it was an exceptionally competent set that filled out the Concorde 2’s vast room with relative ease. Having seen the Canadian outfit at Green Door Store for The Great Escape Festival last year, it’s evident that the band have grown measurably in the eight months since then.

This night was all about White Lies, however, and they took little time to take from their back catalogue for huge singalongs. “It’s ten years since we released this single”, stated McVeigh before launching into mega-single ‘Farewell to the Fairground’, which created one of the largest mass-singalongs ever witnessed at Concorde 2. From its jangly synth-pop line that is as modern now as it was ten years ago, to its beautiful refrain of: “Keep on running / Keep, keep on running”, which McVeigh dutifully allowed the audience to sing-along to, it was the perfect song to drop early in their set.

Elsewhere, though, the band’s newer songs hit the mark too. While there was live debuts for Five cuts ‘Never Alone’, ‘Kick Me’ and ‘Jo?’, the band’s latest single ‘Tokyo’ produced one of the most euphoric moments of the night. Simply proof that the band haven’t lost their edge for a brilliant pop hit, it’s further proof that there’s a reason the group have continued their popularity streak into their second decade as a band.

With further hits like ‘Hold Back Your Love’, ‘To Lose My Life’ and ‘Death’ dropped towards the end of their set, the band finished the way they started: with an awesome sing-along that ensured that every single member of the audience went home with a sore throat and a smile on their face. An indie-pop band that, frankly, we’re just not getting anymore, White Lies proved they’ve still got it all these years later. It was a simply superb evening of blissful pop.

Liam McMillen

Website: whitelies.com
Facebook: facebook.com/WhiteLies
Twitter: twitter.com/whiteliesmusic

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White Lies - Concorde 2, Brighton - 31st January 2019