Lucius - Oslo, London
Brooklyn's Lucius are in danger of 'Doing a Haim' as they seem to be on the verge of blowing up big style in the UK. The group's debut album Wildewoman showcasing their unique brand of percussion heavy retro pop has gone down a treat with critics and won them a host of new fans over here. The five piece made a quick visit to London last year to play an intimate show at the Shacklewell Arms, returning this month for a longer "holiday", playing a handful of GB dates as part of a European tour, including a headline gig at Hackney's newish venue Oslo.
Although the band couldn't quite put their finger on when their album was actually released, there seemed to be a few owners of the collection in the house. Vocalists Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig seemed overwhelmed by the reaction they were receiving, finding the crowd's vocal response heartwarming and seemed slightly surprised at times when hearing the London audience singing their lyrics back to them.
The Oslo set was pulled from the album, with 'Turn It Around', 'How Loud Your Heart Gets' and their debut's title track all set stand outs, with a special mention for one of the slower songs in their repertoire, 'Go Home', which saw Holly and Jess's almost acappella delivery beautifully broken up by blistering guitar licks.
Although Wildewoman was unleashed Stateside in 2013 it's been worth the wait on this side of the pond as the group have included fan fave 'Genevieve' on the UK release. The track appeared originally on their self titled US EP back in 2012 and it's the first chance British Lucius lovers have had to get their hands on the song. It's a raucous dance-tinged ditty and was one hell of a set closer, with the majority of the audience down the front unable to keep still!
Lucius returned to the Oslo stage for a well deserved encore, taking their music to the middle of the crowd for an acoustic, unmic'd rendition of 'Two Of Us On The Run' and a cover of The Beatles track 'Goodbye' (originally recorded by Mary Hopkin). The band did the same thing at their earlier show in the capital and it works really well, even in the slightly larger venue giving the fans that were slightly further back a moment they'll really remember.
In addition to the gig I viewed last November I was lucky enough to catch a couple of Lucius set's at SXSW last month. They're certainly shaping up to be one of my favourite live acts in the last couple of years, so it's great to see them beginning to do well over here. With an imminent Jools Holland performance on the horizon and festival dates in the summer there's a good chance we'll be hearing a lot more from the band throughout 2014.