Live Review: The Northwestern


December, 1970: much to the anguish of fans around the world, The Beatles officially split up. Hearts were broken. Tears trickled down onto scratchy copies of Let It Be. This was the end of a generation.

Ok, I may not have been alive when it happened, but I can empathize with what it must have felt like to the people who cited The Beatles as their favorite band.

In 2006, I had a similar experience with a band calledHope of the States. HOTS had become my favorite band since 2004, after seeing an incredible live show in San Francisco.

I was devastated when they split up.

But now, similar to a phoenix rising from the ashes, a new entity has formed from bits and pieces of the band. Some of the former members of Hope of the States, along with a new batch of troubadours, have come together to form The Northwestern.

The Northwestern
Sam Herlihy, The Northwestern

The Northwestern: Live In London

I had the pleasure of catching The Northwestern at a place called The Hoxton, in East London.

After getting lost and wandering around the Old Street area, trying to find the venue, I finally made it–and just in time to catch the band.

I had a brief chat with Simon (drummer) and Sam (lead singer/guitarist) before their set. I was flattered to find out that Sam has read this odd little collection of ramblings known as my blog!

It’s not everyday that one of your favorite musicians tells you something like that. What a nice, yet odd, role reversal.

Anyway, back to the gig: the entire band, plus a string and horn section, were packed onto the tiny stage. The set started off without a hitch, and the crowd seemed to really be into it. Each song flowed smoothly into the next.

Technical Difficulties

Much to the apparent frustration of the band, there were some technical issues at one point, and one of the songs had to be restarted after some tweaking.

Luckily Sam, skilled front man that he is, knew how to keep the crowd entertained with some light banter.

After order was restored in the kingdom, the rest of the set went exceptionally well. I truly enjoyed each and every single song that was performed.

“House Of Bees” was the song that stood out the most to be, though. It’s slightly subdued, but the melody is so melancholic and beautiful, with just the perfect amount of strings building up in the background.

They may not be Hope of the States: The Sequel, but I’m glad that they’re not trying to be. The Northwestern are a talented band in their own right.

Hopefully this new band will continue to flourish, and I can’t wait to come along for the ride.

Make sure to check them out here, or follow them on Twitter.

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