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THE LAST REPUBLIC
Borderline, London 3 February 2012
last few years Welsh band The Last Republic have performed at various UK
festivals including Download and V as well as the O2 Arena London. They
have toured the UK with The Levellers and supported The Charlatans.
Their 2010 debut album, 'The Parade', was promoted with a 30 date
headline tour around the UK and they also supported The Alarm last May.
around Europe and then the States followed. With that background, if any
band can have reasonable expectations of being 'the next big thing',
it's The Last Republic.
Yet a half
empty Borderline on an, albeit freezing, Friday night bears testament
that while some critics may be extolling their virtues, one must
question the depth of their fan base outside of their native South Wales
(and from overhearing various conversations in the crowd, many of the
audience seem to have made the journey from Neath, Swansea or Cardiff
The set they present is a mix of old and new songs. CCTV, from their
first album, is the opener, followed by five songs that will no doubt
feature on their forthcoming second album, topped off with a return to
The Parade in the form of Perfect Stranger and The Fear. After a few
seconds off stage the band return for the almost inevitable encore,
choosing their first ever single (C'mon) Flood The Gates to round off
enjoyed their first album may be glad to learn that the forthcoming
second album, on tonight's showing anyway, will be more of the same. The
general sonic landscape is one of synths and keyboards layered between a
heavy bass line, crashing drums and the odd guitar lick; the whole
providing a dramatic backdrop to soaring vocals.
The songs in
general are anthemic, and seem well suited for festival crowds. However
they follow, in the main, the same formula; ambient synths leading into
some driving rock from the bass and guitar. And that's it. An indie band
that sounds very like all the other indie bands out there. Yet what
makes them different, and therefore more likely to be 'the next big
thing' is that their songs are far catchier than most other bands'.
It will be
interesting to see what direction they take after their second album, as
that, I believe, will be the make or break point. Will they serve up
even more of the same, or come up with a fresh, new twist?
Set List: CCTV, You Are The Fire, I Saw The World, Out Of Reach, Blood
On The Streets, Emergency, Perfect Stranger, The Fear, (C'mon) Flood The
Supporting TLR were two other bands; The Scholars who I missed
thanks to taking almost an hour to negotiate the Wandsworth one way
system, and Leeds based The Chevin, who played a very enjoyable
seven song set. The hardest working band member was the drummer, and if
I was being really picky, I could say that at times the drums drowned
out all other instruments. Nonetheless the band's talents were plain for
all to see, and the whole performance, with catchy beats and lyrics, and
bags of energy, certainly got the crowd in a good mood for the main act.
Set List: Borderland, Gospel, Colours, Dirty Little Secret, Blue Eyes,
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Gig review (2011)
Album review (2010)
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