Live! The Collier @ The Old Blue Last, Shoreditch, 26/7/16
By Benjamin Irons
“Future Rock”, Southend 4-piece The Collier have hit the ground running since their forming back in 2012. Band members Joshua Hixon (Vocals, Guitar), Flynn Clark (Bass), Ellis Davis (Guitar) and George Rutherford (Drums) have been writing music for the best part of four years now, gigging across the country to promote their unique sound and style in an attempt to establish a steady fan base as a means of gaining wider, mainstream attention. Since then, they have garnered the interest of brand management Ferocious Talent, as well as credited producer Ali Staton - who has worked with the likes of Madonna, PJ Harvey, Pulp and Seal – to collaborate on current and future projects, including their brand new single One Big Dream. But for a band to extend themselves beyond the touch-ups and altercations confined to a studio context, they first need to know how to put on a show; their 35-minute set last night at The Old Blue Last in Shoreditch did enough to exemplify just that.
"Someone Help Me Sing" was impulsively introduced and set a spirited tone for the rest of the evening, never mind the rest of their own set. A melodious voice from frontman Josh Hixon silenced a lively opening and occupied the audience throughout, with an instrumental mid section capturing the band’s musical savvy as each member profited from their deserved live slot – bassist Flynn Clark capitalising more-so as he passionately hip thrusts his guitar to the beat. At one point, Clark made impromptu movements into the crowd to demonstrate his flair and seemingly negate any one-dimensional opinions of The Collier as simply just another 4-piece rock band. Follower "Through The Wall" tested vocalists Hixon and Davis as they profess, “I don’t care anymore”, in a massive chorus of aggression and sentiment, further validating raw and honest emotions that have inspired most, if not all, of their written material
The bands “future rock” distinction was made clear on "This One’s For", as a rather atmospheric, spacey, “imperial trumpet” sample laid the foundations, with drummer George Rutherford suitably pumping his toms and offering up more of a kingly beat than the aforementioned tracks – a refreshing change to their more conventionally rocky style heard in years previous. Their latest single, the first of which to have hit the iTunes market, "One Big Dream", was one of the more romantic performances of the night. Frontman Hixon was quoted in saying “One Big Dream was the track that brought the band together”. This was made apparent on stage as bassist Clark rested his bleary head on Hixon’s shoulder in what I could only describe as a statement of admiration for the bands envisioned journey from writing songs in their bedroom to playing gigs to fans across the country.
"Me Falling Asleep" changed the pace up, fulfilling a brief of massive choruses to the liking of a heavily animated audience; a doubtless sign of achievement for a group of friends that have had nothing but big dreams since their first days playing music together. Much like the following single "Away From Others", Hixon’s Kings Of Leon-esque vocal ability really exhibited his talent, with the rest of the band laying claim to their likened “stadium sound” in an unorthodox twist of hard riffs and crashing cymbals in arguably the heaviest mid section and outro of their entire discography. 'Easy To Love" climactically sounded the end of their set; cloaked in sombre vocals and lethargic guitar, the song was quickly picked up by Rutherford for a crowning moment of lashed guitar playing, screaming vocals and ear shattering snare. With all four members accordingly embracing each other at the end of the set, they signed off a rather memorable night for themselves, existing fans, and fans they will have certainly gained. One Big Dream is out now on iTunes via Ferocious Talent
*this post originally featured on GIGsoup