The Shins with Syd Arthur – Hammersmith Apollo, London (29th March 2017)

Walking into the venue, you could feel the energy this sold out gig was going to produce.

First up, Syd Arthur, named after late legends Syd Barrett and Arthur Lee, and hailing from Canterbury, famed for psychedelic rock music.  This four-piece, featuring the Magill brothers, Liam, Joel and Josh, plus Kate Bush’s nephew Raven on keyboards and guitar – don’t just draw upon the prog, but also  weave in elements of jazz, folk, psych and a more straightforward indie rock streak to create a warm, familiar soulful and accessible sound. Highlight played were ‘Monsters’ and the summery hit ‘No Peace’. 

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The Shins have remained a firm favourite on the indie scene for 16 years with 5 albums across those years.  Front man Mercer was joined by all new face in the band to hit us with catchy melodies.

New record ‘Heartworms was played, but Mercer did not use this event as a way to showcase all new material, as often long standing bands do.

It was the old hits that the crowd were expecting and The Shins did not fail to impress. ‘Kissing the Lipless’ kicked the show off with spirited start. Third album favourites ‘Australia’ and ‘Phantom Limb’ created a nostalgic and happy atmosphere in the crowd. ‘Simple Song,’ kept the crowd lifted and tapping their feet.
The encore was what everyone was waiting for and the 4 minute wait seemed like a lifetime.

We all came to a stand still to experience the relaxed ‘New Slang’, everyone quietly singing along.

A strings-filled performance of new track ‘The Fear’ was an extended build up for the night’s final act – ‘Sleeping Lessons,’ with an interlude of Tom Petty’s ‘American Girl.’ This performance definitely lived up to expectations.