So, last night we went to see exciting new four-piece Lawson at Water Rats up in King’s Cross and it’s fair to say we came away pretty impressed. You see, more than any of the lads-who-play-guitars style boy groups that have come before (I’m looking at you McFly and Busted), Lawson genuinely feel like a proper band. There’s a remarkable fullness to their sound that seemed only emphasised in the tight confines of the North London venue (basically a rather decadent old pub with a stage strapped on), and across their forty minute set, the band delivered again and again on a collection of songs that not only felt highly consistent, but which reached for new levels of maturity for a band of their type too.
At their heart, Lawson are still fundamentally a pop group, and come with the poster-ready looks to go with it – debut single When She Was Mine shines with a classic, almost timeless chorus melody; the kind of thing equally at home on the radio or shouted along to by the press of frenzied teen girls at the gig. But beyond that, what really makes Lawson special is the proficiency and depth of the music itself. Of course, an element of that comes from the fact they all play their own instruments – but it’s more than that; songs like Waterfall and Stolen resounded with a scale that seemed brimming with the promise of everything the group will surely go on to achieve. More than just the sum of their songs, Lawson sound like a group easily worthy of staking their claim as an accomplished contemporary pop-rock outfit.
The rest of the set was comprised of a rousing cover of Ed Sheeran’s The A Team (more upbeat and arguably better than the original), fan favourite Standing In The Dark and Gone, which sounds a little like The Wanted’s Lose My Mind, replete with arena packing chants. Amongst all this, there was a continued air of respect from the band to their music, an innate understanding that these were their songs, their gift to their fans – and as such, they played them all the better. Supplemented with cheeky Northern banter, chatter with the sound crew, and a sort of subtle, assured confidence, Lawson already very much feel suited to their role. Even the black jackets, leather and New Romantic quiffs they were attired with had the touch of a band content in offering something far more uniquely ‘them’ than chasing trends. Come the end of the gig, we wanted more, to dive into the studio versions of the songs and really appreciate the production and well-roundedness of the tracks, and that – for any up and coming band – must surely be an accomplishment.
So – Andy, Ryan, Joel and Adam – we’re impressed, very impressed.
Lawson’s single When She Was Mine is released on the 27th May.