Irish sibling duo, Hudson Taylor, performed their largest headline show to date with 2000 people in attendance, at a sold out Shepherd’s Bush Empire. However, the band are clearly not letting go of their busking roots anytime soon, with the show starting before doors even opened, as the brothers came out to play to a queue of freezing fans.
Another sibling fronted band, Southern, were the first support act and got the show off to an exciting start with their mixture of alternative rock and folk. The highlight of the set was the opener, ‘Just Think About It’, from their self-titled EP, clearly setting a trend for a night of upbeat choruses forcing the crowd to sing along. Southern brilliantly warmed the crowd up for The Mispers, who managed to captivate the crowd in a way that few support acts can. Their newest song ‘Weekend’ was undoubtedly the peak of the set, with the band and the crowd both energised with folk-pop leading perfectly into the main act of the night.
Hudson Taylor jumped onto stage with an older favourite, ‘Just A Thought’, which not only played to their strength of writing an upbeat and stirring chorus, but also played to the strengths of the backing band which filled out the song beautifully. However, the moment of the night came with Harry and Alfie alone on the stage, completely unplugged, singing ‘Arrive’ to a crowd that watched intently in complete silence. Busking is engrained in the brothers, and this display proved that they don’t need anything but acoustic guitars and their incredibly powerful voices to entrance an audience.
Though there were some lulls in the set, due to newer songs from their unreleased debut album having been known by only a few in the crowd, Hudson Taylor showed that their passion and ability could still mesmerise an audience. Nowhere was this proven more than on ‘Beautiful Mistake’, their collaboration with Gabrielle Aplin. The trio harmonised perfectly, and the sincerity of the lyrics clearly resonated with the audience, who were absorbed in the music. However, Hudson Taylor clearly do not underestimate the power of a rousing chorus, as they closed the show with an older favourite – ‘Battles’, undeniably their biggest hit. The song was a clear reminder of the journey that the duo have been on for the past three years, with their passion and enthusiasm filling out bigger and bigger venues each step of the way.
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Review by Priyal Agrawal | @priyalagrawal