LIVE REVIEW: The Boy Least Likely To, Rough Trade East, London

LIVE REVIEW: The Boy Least Likely To, Rough Trade East, London

Although there is undeniably a significant instant popelement (with a slice of cheese) in The Boy Least Likely To’s sound; there is also something, unique, quirky and innovative to their musical formula qualifying them as a credible indie band. After all Jof Owen remarked that he “never accepted that Wham were any different to Joy Division. I never thought one was better than the other. Both were great for different reasons.”

The Boy Least Likely To’s musical journey is less ordinary: starting out on an independent label and then signing to Simon Fuller (Spice Girls, Annie Lennox and S Club) and then returning to independent status. Inbetween making Law of the Playground and The Great Perhaps, Jof worked in a record shop for two years, so he should naturally feel at ease playing live at the legendary record store: Rough Trade East. The band promised to “play songs that have nothing to do with Christmas with a couple of Christmas bangers”.  Playing their latest greatest hits LP as a full six-piece band; there was every reason to be festive.

The Boy Least Likely To opened with Hugging My Grudge with its pleasing folk sound and distinctive Bob Dylan harmonica arrangements similar to Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts. They then continued with hits including: I See Spiders, Follow Your Heart, One Of These Days and Monsters. An already elated crowd would now be in store for additional treats. One of them being cake. Keyboard player Sasha Colvile broughtout a cake she’d baked, not so much as a Christmas treat or to bond with the band; but as a unique and innovative way to remember the running order of the setlist (unfortunately the band had changed the set list after the cake was bakedand iced).  

The band then covered George Michael’s Faith, gifting this classic with a hybrid of a country and folky reinterpretation sounding similar to The Wonder Stuff’s Golden Green. With Owen admitting to “knowing quite a lot of random Wham! Trivia” and being December, the band decided to play their original Christmas composition (influenced by Wham) called George and Andrew. The excitement almost reached a crescendo when they band followed with Last Christmas.  If cake and Christmas songs were not enough, a special guest joined the band to sing their latest Belle and Sebastian sounding single: It Could’ve Been Me. The Boy Least Likely To played out with Be Gentle with Me.

This Rough Trade gig was a celebration of Jof Owen and Pete Hobbs music careers. Initially first meeting at school, despite limited chart success, the duo has come a long way “from scouring countryside boot sales for rare Dexys seven inches and Lee Hazelwood albums” to feature songs in iPhone adverts and successful long-running shows including Grey’s Anatomy. The Boy Least Likely To sound has been described as what would happen “if all your childhood animals got together and started a band”. If that doesn’t provide a satisfactory argument as to why The Boy Least Likely To should be paraded on an indie platform; it will at least explain why the band have for additional in publications like Brooklyn Vegan

   

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