The New Union @ The Wheelbarrow Camden - 04/10/12

The New Union @ The Wheelbarrow Camden – 04/10/12


Walking down Camden High Street, the atmosphere is bustling on a Thursday night.  The students have come out to play and Camden’s music-hungry individuals are filling the streets, looking for the new musical talent of the night. I am stood outside The Wheelbarrow, hearing the sounds of Foster The People seeping out the double doors.

It’s ‘Geek Out’ night and the crowds are buzzing. People are at every corner of the room. The photographers are at the ready as Brighton’s four-piece band The New Union walk onto the stage. As they tune their instruments and pluck a few strings here and there, I can’t help but be taken back by the strong glaring red lights filling the venue with intense atmosphere. It’s only a small place, the brick walks make it somewhat cold but the crowds and lights seem to bring warmth to the room. There is a great chemistry.
The first song begins and The New Union warm to the crowd immediately. They open with ‘Home’. The vocals are reaching all the right notes; soft high sounds that elongate as the song goes on. The lead singer has a soft voice, slightly awkward, reminding me of Bombay Bicycle Club; that sense of naivety they bring through their music. The guitar riffs are colourful, following alongside the vocals injecting energy into the music. As the first song comes to an end, the band greets us with a polite “Hello Wheelbarrow,” building a great interaction with the audience.

They follow with their second song ‘Let’s Talk’. It is keeping up a consistent style of soft melodic sounds, emphasising the band’s minimalist approach. They are quite endearing, they allow you to empathise with what their lyrics are exploring. The drums are crisp and sharp, being played by The New Union’s stand-in drummer; but I have to say, he seems to really form a connection with the band. You wouldn’t even be able to tell that he is not their permanent drummer.

The third song “Staying Friends” arrives, with a change in instrument from the lead singer. He plays on the keyboard as the guitar, bass and drums continue with their playful riffs and attractive beats. The indie-band have made a good move with the arrival of the keyboard as the songs seem have started to form a slow-moving trend, but the change in instrument manages to bring it back and add some character into the music. As this song comes to an end, the crowd are won over and give the band a huge cheer. They have certainly been successful in satisfying their audience.

The fourth song begins and instantly people are drawn in as they recognise the opening riffs to ‘Island In The Sun’ by Weezer. A tradition for The Wheelbarrow’s ‘Geek Out’ night- every band that performs must play a Weezer song. Well the Brighton four-piece have certainly made a good choice in picking this Weezer track as they really manage to pull it off. You can see at this point the band are really easing to the crowd and enjoying themselves, as they become a true union on stage After the song finishes, they introduce themselves again, just to make sure we weren’t confused at the song choice… “We are The New Union…not Weezer!”  The penultimate song ‘The Point’ kicks in with heavier drums- the set-list seems to have built up energy throughout and by this time, their performance seems to have reached a climax. They still have the constant flexible guitar riffs, and the vocals are getting louder with more passion leaking through.

We come to the last song as the boys introduce it as their debut single “Without You”, which is out now on single and seven-inch vinyl; keeping it old style. I have already had a listen to this one before and was hooked the first time I listened to it but now, the guys have infused it with such energy, enthusiasm, and charisma making the live version a winning number. You can hear the influences from artists like The Maccabees, Death Cab for Cutie and traditional indie sounds coming through their music.

As the performance comes to an end, the crowd is cheering, wanting to hear more but The New Union tease us as they exit the stage after a victory set.

Be sure to see The New Union in the next few weeks as they perform their single
launch at the Fitz in Brighton on 12th October.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.