Under the depths of London’s Oxford Street lies the legendary 100 Club which is enriched with history as a prominent venue in the 70’s punk scene, as well times when it hosted jazz and swing acts back in the 1940’s. As intimate venues go, it’s one of the best and even if you’re stood at the back, you’re pretty much still at the front all thanks to the 100 Club’s unusually broad layout. Last Tuesday evening, we were lucky enough to catch Nick J.D. Hodgson at the venue which marked one of the first gigs he’s done on tour in 6 years (since Kaiser Chiefs times) and the first time playing live at the venue since Parva.
Sam Johnson started off the evening with his mellow but captivating solo-acoustic performance. Although his music isn’t necessarily what I’d listen to and I was sceptical whether I was going to enjoy his music at all, his unique vocals and emotional tracks were enough to blow me away live regardless.
Kicking off with ‘I Love The Way Your Mind Works’, a track which has the ability to be a catchy pop track but also laid back in the same capacity, it was clear that Nick J.D. Hodgson‘s set was going to be one full of bangers. Whilst there was a slight hiccup at the start of second track ‘RSVP’, the rest of the night went smoothly with tracks such as debut single ‘Suitable’, ‘Honest Face’ and ‘My Own American Dream’ being particular highlights. I even left with new favourite tracks after appreciating them more live than when I listened to Nick’s debut album ‘Tell Your Friends’ which was released back in January.
Various Kaiser Chiefs tracks were thrown in for good measure including ‘Oh My God’ and ‘I Predict A Riot’ as well as piano-ballad turned substantial, full band version of ‘Boxing Champ’, a track I personally would’ve never thought I’d ever hear live in any capacity. In all honesty, Nick’s own rendition of ‘Love’s Not A Competition (But I’m Winning)’ was actually better than the last time I saw Kaiser Chiefs play the track live themselves.
Ending the evening on latest single ‘Tomorrow I Love You’ (before quipping that he couldn’t play anymore songs because he didn’t know any… Of course!) it was clear that tracks from ‘Tell Your Friends’ definitely take on a new lease of life live and there’s an added sense of fun to them. If you missed Nick J.D. Hodgson on his previous tour then you can still catch him live at both Live at Leeds and The Great Escape (Brighton) in May. If not, there’s a promise of more tour dates later in the year. Just don’t blame me if you get his tracks in your head for weeks afterwards.