Lawson has had a pretty phenomenal past year and deservedly so; sell out tours, a string of top ten singles and extensive touring both at home and in the States. With an impressive collection of pop-rock infused songs it is no surprise that they are doing so very well. They are back on UK soil and currently busy wowing fans on the ‘Everywhere We Go Tour’. Joined on the tour by Paighton and Room 94, Est.1987 headed down to Manchester Apollo, excited to see what the boys had in store for us.
To read our live review of the show and interviews with Paighton and Room 94 click below…
Nottingham four-piece Paighton are first up on the bill tonight and given the task of warming up the 3000 strong crowd, not easy when the crowd is filled with screaming, fervent fans. However, the talented quartet burst on stage with an unrivalled energy, and deliver a blend of pop-meets-rock with a country twist. With two singers, combined with their new approach to guitar rock, Paighton is a breath of fresh air. ‘Keep It Alive’ with its soaring chorus, goes down well with the crowd, some of whom have never seen Paighton before. The boys even throw in a fun cover of the classic Bryan Adams track, ‘Summer of ‘69’. It isn’t hard for Paighton to win over the crowd and they quickly have them in the palm of their hands. The noise in the room increases as the boys leave the stage to a roar of screams. However, that’s not before they play brand new single, ‘Drive’, which is undoubtedly the highlight of the set. An effortless blend of catchy riffs with a country-rock melody and anthemic chorus, the song is an instant hit. If the band produces more songs like this we’ll be very excited to see what’s next for them. 7.5/10
Room 94 builds on the energy that Paighton brought to the stage. Confident and ballsy, they come to the stage like pros, and having supported Lawson on their last tour, they sort of are. The Apollo is filled with Room 94 fans and the boys don’t disappoint. A fun band to watch live, enthusiasm in abundance, you can’t help but be pulled into their performance. Laughing and joking with the crowd, they blitz through upbeat pop numbers such as ‘Superstar’ and new single ‘When I Was A Teenager’. ‘Chasing The Summer’ is definitely their ‘anthem’ and resounds out through the Apollo. It’s rare to see such excitement from a crowd for a support band, but Room 94 has pulled it off. They even throw in a cheeky cover of One Direction’s ‘Kiss You’. They are playful with the crowd and command the stage, anyone would think they are headlining the night, and they are going on to do just that early next year on their own tour. Catchy pop-punk songs at their best, the girls adore them. 8/10
Both support acts did a valiant job of warming up the crowd and, by the electric atmosphere in the room, the anticipation for Lawson had reached boiling point. Approaching the stage to rapturous and deafening screams, Lawson don’t mess around and kick things off with new single, (which secured them the number three place in the charts last weekend) the vintage Police/Sting-esque ‘Juliet’. Now the upbeat mood is in the air, the rest of the set continues in the same vein. Lawson is a band that belongs up on stage; sure, they sound great on record, but it is up there on stage where they truly come alive. From the anthemic ‘Make It Happen’ to the building ‘Learn To Love Again’ Lawson are tighter than ever before; they’ve upped the ante on this tour and live they are unparalleled. The stage floor is scattered with large Persian rugs creating an intimate, homely setting, yet placed alongside big hitting tunes, Lawson’s days of playing tiny venues to a handful of people are long gone. Lead singer, Andy Brown recites the tale of when the band first played Manchester at the tiny venue, Night & Day. Playing only to the support bands and a few of their own family, they laugh how Adam got so drunk he fell off the drum kit. They’ve come a long way since that night, as tonight proves.
Favourite Lawson infectious numbers such as ‘Brokenhearted’ and ‘When She Was Mine’ are played alongside future hits from the new release ‘Chapman Square Chapter II’. ‘Love Locked Out’, taken from the new album, is fused with funk and soul-esque sounds, whilst ‘Parachute’ is echoic, percussive and atmospheric. The set is varied and diverse, Andy performing the heartfelt ‘The Girl I Knew’ acoustically on stage alone, and they even throw in an impressive rock cover of Armin van Buuren’s ‘This Is What It Feels Like’. Lawson break the stereotypical boyband mould and their set is near flawless, a mix of pop and rock anthems played to perfection. Playful with the crowd, they have an honest rapport with their fans and genuinely appear happy and thankful to be up there. Finishing the night off with an encore of ‘Standing In The Dark’ confirms that there’s a new breed of boyband in town. 9/10
Stay tuned to read our interviews with Paighton & Room 94