Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen – 27th March
A killer combination of catchy, dance-worthy riffs, millennial meme-humour and a fortuitous editorial decision from YouTube pushed a whirlwind of buzz towards Norwegian teen Boy Pablo in late 2017.
Indeed, by the time we see Pablo and his four friends join the stage at a full-capacity Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen for the London instalment of their first European tour, they’ve already played a second sold out show round the corner at Queen on Hoxton. Their second performance seems all the better for it, as they’re clearly still buzzing as they open on, ironically, the jangly ‘imreallytiredthisdaysucks’.
Though the bands’ enthusiasm is hopelessly infectious, keyboardist and self-appointed ‘hype man’ Eric needs to tone it down, often seemingly trying to take the spotlight from Pablo, and unfortunately at times comes across like one of those guys who upload videos to their socials of them miming to a Justin Bieber or Shawn Mendes track, smiling and pointing at the camera, or as the case here may be, miming ‘call me’ to slow ballad ‘ur phone’ or pointing to bassist Henrik on the intro of new single ‘Losing You’.
Pablo laughs it off well, though, and actually his more understated demeanour works well in contrast to this. His deep voice is surprising in contrast to his youthful, happy appearance too, and carries a lot of strength above the high pitched guitar licks and dreamy synth work, sounding particularly great on the ‘Chamber Of Reflection’-esque hit ‘Ready / Problems’. It’s ‘Everytime’ that wins the night though, and after somehow creating a mosh pit for ‘Dance, Baby!’, they find it hard to resist playing again for an encore.
Despite a few natural cringes, it’s refreshing to see a band who are still very much finding their feet completely lose it with a sold out crowd who are mostly, like themselves, young and full of fun.
Listen: Boy Pablo – Roy Pablo