Andy, Adam, Ryan and Joel make up Lawson and stop right now. Don't you dare think "Oh that boyband" – no, damn you to hell. Read this review before you judge or better go and see them live because there is so much more to them than that.
The 02 in Birmingham, granted, had a lot of teenage girls throwing themselves at the stage, and yes, I could have easily joined in and leapt the stage but no, you're an adult Hayley. The first support act were Paighton, the lead singer reminded me of Billy Joel from Greenday and I was interested for the first song or two. They were humble enough, speaking of how they had been where the audience were, not knowing who the support act were. A seemingly bunch group of guys but they just didn't grab me which is what you want from a support act, to build the excitement and encourage an audience.
Room 94 were a lovely bunch and already appeared to have a following with girls having banners specially made. 'Superstar' was a great opening track with a charismatic lead singer. And there set was gracefully received by my ears.
Lawson. Lawson. Lawson! I ruddy love these lads. They play and they write. Joel Peat, lead guitarist, spoke of how it is nice that bands which actually play are in the charts and too right. I don't understand how just because a band has 4 good looking guys they are automatically classed as a boyband who sing, dance and prance around. Let's just call them a "man-band".
Andy Brown fronts the band with his rocky voice with Ryan Fletcher on bass, Joel Peat on guitar and Adam Pitt on the drums. Brown is a wonderful singer, whether it be a stunning acoustic solo where it feels as though his soul is being bared for all, or a rousing rendition of 'Brokenhearted' when you want to jump on the back of the person in front of you, arms flaying in the air.
While Brown takes the front, Fletcher, Pitt and Peat make their own individual mark to prove that the foursome are contribute equally to this musical explosion.
Lawson performed 'When She Was Mine' and the amazing 'Standing in the Dark' which is credited to being the one to help them start it all. What's great about a Lawson show is that they keep the atmosphere up there, all the way through, even on the softer songs. 'Love Locked Out' is a new track and it sounded so different from the other songs they performed. The guitar work on it is great and the track demonstrates each members talents by introducing them separately with solo's before reconnecting them to finish the track. It has a really smooth, almost jazzy feel to it. New single 'Juliet' has a Police influence which shows the older influences that the band members have and are so ready to express. They've grafted for years and headlining a tour like this must feel like this hard work is paying off.
They commanded the room and they impressed immensely with their showmanship. Their sound is firmly in the rock bracket with hints of pop pocketed in there. The harmonies created by introducing Peat and Fletcher give the performance an extra dimension, to highlight the developed sound.
People may call them "generic" like I've read in other reviews, really? What's the harm in creating a sound that can appeal to a wider audience? The band create music that they love, with influences from artists that they admire. Get off your high horse with this "just a boyband" attitude. In the charts this week you have the likes of Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, One Republic, and Eminem. All American artists, and then you have British band Lawson up there, competing with them to get into the charts.
Lawson are an act you can't help but sing along to and having met the lads previously, they truly love and appreciate what they do and you can tell that by the enjoyment they have being on the stage. So give them a chance because you'll be surprised and kick yourself for doing that cliché of "judging a book by its cover". I have so much respect for them as musicians. Don't be a fool.
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article by: Hayley Edwards
photos by: Hayley Edwards