White Lies @ TAB (22.03.14)

British rock concerts are well known for their raucous and chaotic atmosphere, where bands like the Sex Pistols would thrash venues all in the name of anarchy and passion. This time however, it was a last minute change of location that created the sense of upheaval. Perhaps rather naively, promoters had booked White Lies to play at The Coliseum, one of Singapore’s larger music venues. Unsurprisingly, ticket sales never met their expectations and so to save the band from the embarrassment of playing to a scarce audience, the show was moved to TAB.

Against this backdrop of disorganisation and poor market research, we began to wonder: what would the attitude of White Lies be? Surely there must have been a certain level of disappointment that came with the relocation. No doubt their promotors had puffed them up with promises of multitudes of fans.

This was their second attempt at a show in Singapore. The first was unceremoniously cancelled at the last minute (a common theme to their shows) in 2011. The crowd, having waited three years to finally see them strut their stuff, were unfazed. At first glimpse of the band, the screams set tone for the rest of the set.

And it seemed like White Lies were equally unaffected. Stirring the crowd into a sea of clapping hands, lead singer Harry McVeigh revelled in our adoration. At one point he stood centre stage, arms aloft in messianic fashion, soaking up the raw passion of the audience.

The band never failed to please the crowd, injecting their well loved hits ‘There Goes Our Love Again’ and ‘First Time Caller’ in-between the album tracks such that even a casual listener would have had a good time.

However for all the punch and bite that their set possessed, White Lies suffered the usual mid-set fatigue that seems to plague most acts these days. There came a point when the songs seemed to meld together as one long post-punk jam, leaving us feeling somewhat as drowned as McVeigh’s reverb drenched vocals.

They made us wait until the very end for ‘Bigger Than Us’, but it was well worth it. The good showing more than made up for the build-up. However it begs the question, how well do the promotors really understand the landscape of Singapore’s music scene?

by Andrew Koay

White Lies announce full show in Singapore following cancellations and teasers

One of Britain’s most popular indie rock bands in recent years will finally be performing their full live show in Singapore this year.

Following a short gig at the private launch of Burberry’s Brit Rhythm in October last year and the cancellation of a concert in Singapore back in 2011, fans will finally be able to see White Lies live in action at The Coliseum on 22 March.

Hailed as the next Great White Indie Hope, White Lies’ musical style has been described by the media as dark yet uplifting, drawing comparisons to Joy Division, Editors, The Bravery and Interpol.

Their debut album To Lose My Life (2009) and darkly irresistible singles ‘Unfinished Business’ and ‘Death’ quickly led the band to play tours and festival appearances in the United Kingdom and North America. And now with the release of Big TV, they are back, this time set to play further from home in Singapore to eager fans.

White Lies
Saturday, 22 March 2014
$78 (standard) and $98 (door)

Tickets are now available via TAB.

By Cindy Tan

White Lies for Burberry’s Brit Rhythm @ Wheeler’s Yard (18.10.13)

Ealing band White Lies, consisting of Harry McVeigh, Charles Cave and Jack Lawrence-Brown, were slated to play in Singapore back in 2011 as part of their Asian tour. But due to the devastating weather conditions in Japan at the time, the band had to regretfully cancel their tour, leaving many fans disappointed but still hoping to see the band on our shores in the near future. And last Friday, a handful of lucky fans got their patience paid off.

The UK trio were in town, performing live for Burberry’s Brit Rhythm, a new fragrance, exploring the connection of sound and scent. The private showcase was held at a very secluded Wheeler’s Yard, a bike shop by day, and apparently a very exclusive and lush party space by night. Guests were treated like royalty by staff and volunteers, and enjoyed a free flow of drinks and a set by British DJ Same Sure while waiting for the band to take the stage.

White Lies for Burberry's Brit Rhythm @ Wheeler's Yard (18.10.13)

Finally, the band, clothed in Burberry, made their entrance, walking down several staircases to the stage accompanied by sidemen, Tommy Bowen and Rob Lee and the much appreciated cheering from the crowd. As each member found a comfortable space on the stage, the band wasted no time, breaking out a track from their latest release Big TV, ‘Getting Even’. The track’s melodic opening immediately hooked the crowd over, even those who’ve only heard of the band White Lies for the first time that night.

‘To Lose My Life’, a track from the band’s debut album of the same name, excited the crowd further, with a much heavier sound and its melancholic lyrics. This was followed by the first single off Big TV, ‘There Goes Our Love Again’, a catchy synth-riddled track, complemented by McVeigh’s haunting vocals and echo-laden guitars which instantly becomes a fan-favourite. The band continued the night with one of their most well loved track ever, ‘Death’, and the band’s delivery of the song was as amazing as we could have ever imagined it to be.

The band slowed things down with a ballad of sorts, with the song ‘First Time Caller’, which frontman McVeigh stated was, “their favourite track from their new album.” Picking things up with the title track of Big TV, the band closed their wonderful albeit brief set with the first single off their sophomore album, Rituals, titled ‘Bigger Than Us’. Scented confetti burst from the ceiling and rained down on the crowd because what would a party be without confetti, as White Lies brought their long awaited performance to an end.

After a taste of the band’s prowess, we’ve decided that we want more and we’re hoping we won’t have to wait as long as two years before we get it. Although, being patient has rewarded many fans, as the band headed over with a wonderfully crafted third album which has masterfully combined their signature sound from debut album, To Lose My Life… with the bolder and more ambitious sophomore effort, Rituals. The night also introduced an amazing venue, Wheeler’s Yard, with so much potential as a possible concert venue for organisers.

By Irfan Margono