The Boxer Rebellion
Brudenell Social Club
The Boxer Rebellion approach the stage with comfortable confidence and are enthusiastically welcomed by the packed out crowd at the Brudenell Social club. They lurch into a triptych of songs from their last album, Promises, which finely exhibit Tennessee born frontman Nathan Nicholson’s gravelly vocals. For sing along tune, ‘New York’, the guitarists shift to drums and form a thunderous tom-tom trio and, with the use of sample pads and Nicholson on keys, aptly incorporate the slight electronic experimentation demonstrated in their most recent work.
However, as the set progresses, the band’s songs become increasingly hard to distinguish from one another. It is only the rhythm duo that manages to hold the band together and infuse any sense of uniqueness to their sound. Adam Harrison’s Gainsbourg-esque bass lines dance along the scales whilst Piers Hewitt’s energetic yet intricate drumming carries the band’s catalogue of fairly homogenous songs. A delightfully random one-minute rendition of Bill Withers’ ‘Lean On Me’ precedes crowd pleaser ‘Diamonds’ and injects a final burst of energy within the venue. Even so, I am not left craving for more when the band comes on for their encore. The Boxer Rebellion are a group talented musicians but, somehow, the band are undeniably forgettable.