Ahead of the release of their debut album, Singing For Strangers, Irish pair Hudson Taylor took off around the UK on their biggest headline tour yet, which stopped at Nottingham’s Rescue Rooms last night, a third of the way through the dates – the full list of shows can be found below. 2014 saw them support Jake Bugg and the Rolling Stones, when the Dublin duo, Harry and Alfie, weren’t adding finishing touches to their 21-track release. The album is due for release on March 30th, but the brothers have previously said they want to be known for their live act – after last night’s sold out show, this a goal within easy reach.
With support from their full band, Hudson Taylor made more than enough noise to flood the venue, but it wasn’t simply volume that the crowd away; if anything, it was the exact opposite. After a few words about how the pair had been busking around the city during the day, mics and amps were removed and the volume in the roomed dropped to total silence – without wanting to use such a terrible cliche, you could hear a pin drop. Without the use of technology, the brothers delivered a very literal acoustic performance of Holly to the sold out crowd of just under 500.
A little over a year ago we saw American-Irish Flogging Molly support Frank Turner, and Hudson Taylor’s show was rather akin to their in more than simply accents and numbers of people on stage. Ecstatic and buoyant, even the slowest songs of the show had more than a mere hint of optimism in, and energy that transferred fluidly to the crowd. Only occasionally interrupting the onslaught of music with a few words, they explained that due to the rarity of headline tours they played, it was a rare chance for them to play 5-minute Trouble Town, a bonus track off their record. If they’d not mentioned the infrequency with which it saw the light of day, you’d not have guessed, with an execution as slick as every other.
Although they’ve supported some impressive names, have gained Radio 1 play and already have 2 EPs and a handful of singles under their belts, it’s impressive that the pair have such a strong underground following so far before their debut record is out. Of course, the limited release of music meant a lot of songs were being heard for the first time, but on the more well-known ones, the crowd reacted spectacularly. Single Chasing Rubies wrapped everyone into singing, as did fan-favourite Care, off their 2013 Osea EP. The power of the public became particularly noticeable where the music dropped away, and the crowd belted, “I think about you every second of the day”. Albeit a predictable move, the enjoyment was highlighted in it.
After closing the main set with album song, For The Last Time – a slower but equally riveting number, the well deserved encore began with non-deluxe album closer Off The Hook, before the pair taught the audience a chorus that they in turn put their hearts into. Of course, the best way to wind up a show is with the best known track, and that’s just what they did. Battles was the perfect example of what to expect from a Hudson Taylor show; pacey, addictive and inducing a fantastically infectious atmosphere. Leaving it to the crowd to deliver the final chorus of the night was a great move – after an evening filled with fiddle and whistling solos, they couldn’t have topped it if they tried.
Sun 1st Feb 2015 Edinburgh The Caves
Tue 3rd Feb 2015 Newcastle Riverside
Wed 4th Feb 2015 Leeds Brudenell Social Club
Thu 5th Feb 2015 Sheffield Plug
Sat 7th Feb 2015 Manchester Academy 2
Sun 8th Feb 2015 Birmingham Library
Mon 9th Feb 2015 Nottingham Rescue Rooms
Tue 10th Feb 2015 Cambridge Junction 2
Thu 12th Feb 2015 London O2 Shepherds Bush Empire
Fri 13th Feb 2015 Brighton Concorde 2
Sun 15th Feb 2015 Oxford O2 Academy 2
Mon 16th Feb 2015 Falmouth Princess Pavilion
Wed 18th Feb 2015 Exeter Phoenix
Thu 19th Feb 2015 Bristol Trinity Centre
Fri 20th Feb 2015 Liverpool O2 Academy 2
Sat 21st Feb 2015 Belfast Mandela Hall
Mon 23rd Feb 2015 Galway Roisin Dubh
Tue 24th Feb 2015 Dundalk Spirit Store
Thu 26th Feb 2015 Dublin Olympia Theatre
Fri 27th Feb 2015 Kilkenny Set Theatre
Sat 28th Feb 2015 Limerick Dolan’s
Sun 1st Mar 2015 Cork Savoy