Hoxton Square Bar, 28th July 2009
It’s been three years since White Rabbits’ celebrated debut, Fort Nightly and just over two months since the release of follow up album, It’s Frightening, which is the focus of their London show tonight as they perform to a packed hall.
It’s as though there’s a mini-orchestra playing Hoxton’s Square Bar as the six-strong, New York-based outfit make use of so many instruments, including, two drum-kits, two keyboards, ample guitars and a tambourine, there’s scarcely room left on-stage.
Singer and pianist, Stephen Patterson sits centred facing the band’s other singer, Gregory Roberts, who is standing strumming his guitar as the pair share vocal duties through smiles despite the often sober tones within their tunes. When the beats and keyboards unite it seems the spirit of White Rabbits fully emerges, particularly when the blows from drummers Matt Clark and Jamie Levinson are delivered in unison.
Of the newer songs, two strike hard: Right Where They Left, which marches along with a regretful yet sweet swagger, and the stirring Midnight and I but it’s the older songs like, Kid On My Shoulder and The Plot which produce the most vibrant reactions, as the energy in the venue swells. Suddenly, everything becomes engulfed by the force of new song, Percussion Gun which steams into a powerful anthem in which the band celebrate wildly in their actions on stage.
Then in the next moment the band leave and return to perform, The Sales Man (Tramp Life) which sees Stephen abandon his keys to stand, pleading to the crowd with the words, “Just recognise me” over and again for an affecting finale. White Rabbits may have been confined by the space on the stage, but their performance broke through along with the new tunes, offering further testament to the group’s staying power.