LIVE REVIEW: White Lies @ O2 Academy (23.3.17) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Australian artist Alex Cameron and his ‘failed entertainer’ act makes interesting viewing as tonight’s main support. He shimmies around the stage like Nick Cave – just as tall and imposing, articulating the lines of his wry tales of failure in a grumbling baritone. Cameron is accompanied by his saxophonist Roy, who he constantly refers to as his ‘business partner’, continually building a narrative around his doomed showman character. Cameron is a Lynchian oddity and his wacky performance bodes only serves to better the satirical wit of his electro-backed ballads.

White Lies have their fare share of critics, but there’s no denying Harry McVeigh (vocals/guitar) knows how to string together a chorus. Tonight includes more sing-a-long refrains than you can shake a selfie stick at (please don’t) and the Academy crowd are more than happy to indulge the grinning frontman. Tracks from their latest album Friends are well-received and the band take a second to thank those who’ve stuck by them. Take It Out On Me opens the set with a nice energy, whilst Farewell To The Fairground appears about halfway through, with a dodgy tempo makeover. Yet It’s tracks from 2013’s Big TV that truly shine in a live setting – Getting Even, There Goes Our Love Again…everything but First Time Caller, which should never have made it anywhere near a crowd. McVeigh must be due a Guinness world record for the amount of times the word ‘love’ is used in a song. But what he lacks in the lyrical imagination, White Lies make up for in solid musicianship. As the band bow-out with mighty power-pop of Bigger Than Us, you begin realise why fans have stuck around for so long.

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