Little Green Cars - Hoxton Hall, London
Tonight marks our first visit to Hoxton Hall, seemingly accessible only by a cold, dank and frankly terrifying walk down Hoxton Street. Fortunately the venue proves anything but – a quaint, endearing and intimate venue replete with theatrical curtain over its two-tiered stage, needed to accommodate all the instruments.
We’re here for the live London debut of hotly tipped Dublin five-piece Little Green Cars whose first two tracks – ‘The John Wayne’ and ‘Harper Lee’ – have created much excitement in these towers. Given that this gig has long since been sold out, we’re expecting a sweaty night; yet, oddly, by the time they take to the stage with little fanfare around 9.15, Hoxton Hall boasts about as porous a “sold out” crowd as we’ve seen. It matters little as after an hour-long set of tight, harmonious and soaring musical delights, we’re too engrossed to notice that some have been foolish enough to not venture out on a cold London night.
“It’s easy to fall in love with you,” goes the opening of ‘The John Wayne’ and after just two songs, we’re just about ready to utter the same statement. Opening with all five members on the front tier of the stage, Little Green Cars confidently launch into the a cappella ‘Red’ before adding just the solitary acoustic guitar for ‘Goodbye Blue Monday’. It’s a gorgeous start, perfectly highlighting the five-piece’s flawless vocal harmonies – a constant aural caress throughout tonight’s set – and their emotive lyrics, tinged with darkness: “Please, when I’m gone, talk about me like I’m still there”; “Because if I thought you loved me once, then I’d be happy forever”.
With Stevie Appleby and Faye O'Rourke sharing lead vocal duties, there’s a pleasing variety on display, whether it be the soaring beats of ‘The John Wayne’ or the more melancholic licks of ‘Them’. Each track displays the band’s sharp ear for an immediate hook and rich soundscape akin to Arcade Fire; little surprise then, that Markus Dravs – who worked on Neon Bible – has produced their debut album Absolute Zero, out on May 13th through Island / Glassnote Records.
Tonight ends with a formidable closing salvo comes in the form of the magnificently titled ‘My Love Took Me Down To The River To Silence Me’ and ‘The John Wayne'. The former proves the night’s highlight with its layered structure taking full advantage of all of the five-piece's strengths: dual and harmonised vocals, driving tempo and sharp hooks. It all leaves us with no doubt that Little Green Cars are firmly set in the fast lane to success with venues like Hoxton Hall already in their rear-view mirror.
GOODBYE BLUE MONDAY
MOM + DAD
BIG RED DRAGON
THE KITCHEN FLOOR
MY LOVE TOOK ME DOWN TO THE RIVER TO SILENCE ME
THE JOHN WAYNE