Camden Barfly, 2012
Entering The Camden Barfly, I was instantly aware that The Robbie Boyd Band’s EP Launch was going to be something a little different. With the stage decorated with fairy lights, candles and balloons aplenty and the offering of cupcakes and novelty wrist bands, there was an undoubtedly immediate fondness towards tonight’s performance.
Accompanied by his eight-piece ensemble the London based Robbie Boyd bounds onstage to the rapturous sound of adoring applause. Joining him onstage are his band members fully equipped with violins, saxophones, maracas and bongos.
Tonight’s sold-out show for the Launch of new EP Spring Generation sees an eclectic mix of fan’s young and old ready to dosey doe the night away. Dressed accordingly, the band encompass a traditional folk style set up consisting of plenty of velvet, waistcoats and a trademark ukulele.
Opening track and single I Won’t Let You Go is a folky sing along hit which sets the tone for tonight’s audience as a feel good folk pop party. Robbie’s charming distinctive vocals immediately shine, but fail to surpass the fantastic musicianship that accompanies him. The audience are then treated to Spring Generation, which with the introduction of upbeat bongo beats make the crowd automatically move their feet as if they’ve come across a Mumford& Sons/Friendly Fires super group. Oh Alaska’s combination of funky bass riffs and creative composition as well as The Orions Belt heart-warming lyrics then see the audience absorbed in nostalgic euphoria.
Robbie then introduces a new song which he claims he wrote two weeks ago called I Want You to Stay, a heartfelt anecdote which is then followed by When I Believe from the new EP. Both songs require call and response which the audience are more than happy to contribute to.
First single off the new EP, When I Believe is a more than apparent audience pleaser. The catchy chorus and pop hooks shine enough to make this track a potential radio hit. The ukulele then makes its comeback onstage for A London Reminition, a zealous tribute to the city.
New songs Colour’s In Your Eyes and The Lean loose some of the instrumentation and embrace the bands favourite way of engaging the audience, good old call and response, before taking a wistful trip back to their busking days and playing the aspirational Take Me Back To Dreamland.
Ending the main set with Red Queen the band declare their appreciation for their first ever sold-out London show. As each member showcases their talent to the audience with an illuminating solo during this epic set finisher, it’s clear that each are equally overwhelmed by tonight’s response.
Before an inevitable and much anticipated encore, Robbie Boyd embraces the stage alone to play a stripped down version of a song he states “hasn’t been played live in years’’ called Never Never Land. The haunting vocals and spine tingling acoustic melody have the audience in complete awe until he is then joined onstage for what is to be an impressive reprise with last song of the night I Want Something Different.
Another motivating sing along of upbeat folk melodies and gloriously shambolic instrumentation rounds up tonight’s party resulting in a room of simultaneous knee jerking and head bobbing. This impressive live performance and showcase of lyrical, musical and vocal talents combined with The Robbie Boyd band’s perfect blend of nostalgic, contagious folk-pop will unavoidably leave you desiring more.