by Little Miss B, 20 Feb 2010. All photography by Gemma Trickey for The Girls Are...
White Rose Movement, Hoxton Bar & Kitchen, Thurs 18th Feb.
Support by Think About Life + Live Like Lions.
I was introduced to White Rose Movement by partner in crime, Trickey. We have fawned, adored, and played 2006 hit album 'Kick' to death. Hence, upon discovering White Rose Movement were to be headlining the Hoxton Bar & Kitchen after a long hiatus, we rejoiced. Having missed support band Think About Life at Cargo a few days previously, Tricks and I were keen beans and headed down to the venue, full of gusto at the night ahead.
What we did not account for, however, were TFL dramatics, technical problems and the ever-present issue of fighting one's way through the crowd with expensive equipment. Yet again, we arrived just as Think About Life were finishing up their set. One day, we will actually review this band, I promise.
What with the somewhat chaotic events of the evening, I can only be grateful that White Rose Movement proved to be as good as we expected. Although not packed to the rafters, the room was filled with an air of expectancy and excitement. After the catchy, pop, synth-wonder that was 'Kick', I was keen to see how the new, more mature sound would play out on stage.
There is no doubt about who the performers are in this band. Adorned in tight white jeans, and a sleeveless white T, Finn is the consummate frontman: his statuesque, sinewy, strutting body perfectly befitting the darker, more brooding material being showcased. Poppy on synth and backing vocals, with her short dark shock of hair, her black garb revealing a flash of torso flesh. Owen, Jasper and Ed (obviously, being the drummer) were always a few steps back, maintaing the tight and driving foundations upon which Finn and Poppy soared.
As is the case with performing new material, audience response can be muted. New track 'Helsinki' raised rapturous applause, and the brilliant 'Small and the Witches Revenge' saw Poppy take on lead vocals, with Finn and Owen hammering away at the synth. However, the real swell came from old favourite 'Love is a Number'. This is not to say the new tracks are not great: far from it, but with a revered back-catalague such as theirs, one would not expect anything less.
As seems to be routine at this venue, there were some issues with the sound levels, but largely this was a brilliant show by a brilliant and enigmatic band. Less pop-oriented, and much more grown-up, their new material promises great things from White Rose Movement in 2010.