RPWL at the Boston Music Room in London
I’ll open this article by saying my history with RPWL doesn’t go back very far (approximately 1 week) after reading Jason’s Proghurst article on their latest release ‘Crime Scene’. And upon a first listen, I instantly became a fan and knew then and there it would be a shame to miss out on a live show. Somewhere between Spocks Beard and Magic Pie, RPWL hit all of my prog-rock dopamine receptors. Jason tipped me off that there was show happening in London, so off I went on another concert adventure…
Tanyc was the first act up, who I’m also entirely unfamiliar with. She performed a short set of her music accompanied only by a guitarist and a very light backing track. Her sultry vocals remind me of Amy Winehouse, and she had the audience captivated with her impressive vibrato.
The stage was set, jammed full of synths, and RPWL were ready to go. Lo and behold two familiar faces come back out, none other than Tanyc (who was now on backing vocals), and the guitarist from the support act, aka Kalle Wallner – founding member of RPWL. I guess if I’d known the band better I would have spotted that right away. Nevertheless, on they came.
The set started with a full playthrough of ‘Crime Scene’ from start to finish, and straight away Kalle has a mesmerising guitar solo that sang throughout the venue on the very first track ‘Victim of Desire’. I’m a sucker for full album playthroughs at live shows, and given this is the album that has gotten me into the band, I was even happier at the prospect.
Before getting to ‘Life in a Cage’, Yogi Lang (vocals, keyboards) explained that the track was about domestic abuse, mentioning that women are being murdered by their partners or ex-partners every 3 days across Europe. I don’t know the source of that stat, but it’s certainly a horrifying one. Taking in this song was so much more moving having had that background context spoon-fed to the audience.
After finishing up the crime scene playthrough, the band went back in time to the start of their discography to the first track of the first album, ‘Hole in the Sky’. Whilst I was slightly less familiar with this side of the set, I felt that music was easily accessible to my fresh ears and found myself taking in prog directly into my ears without a worry in the world.
‘Gentle Art of Swimming’ had a drum solo which allowed Marc Turiaux to shine, given he was hidden away in the corner of the stage behind perspex for the whole evening.
RPWL closed with ‘Roses’, and the audience finally came alive and became a part of the music by singing along with the chorus, as opposed to being just humble observers up until this point. And what a song to finish an evening of prog rock too.
As a new fan of RPWL, I didn’t leave this concert disappointed in any way shape or form. It’s been a long while since I’ve thrown myself into the deep end by getting to know a band through their live show rather than their studio work, and in this case I must say it was a great decision. The melancholic atmosphere eviscerated by RPWL this evening made me fall more in love with their music.
They made a killer first impression on me with their headline show in London this evening, and I can see this being the start of a journey of love for RPWL.