This ‘Nothing But Thieves’ article was written by Kingsley Olaleye, a GIGsoup contributor

The dome is actually not much of a dome, it’s a personal space, large but not so big you lose the intimacy of interaction. This is the type of venue where secret gigs are held. It’s dark, hot and rammed full to the brim with cherry picked fandom, or at least it feels that way and that is really the defining thing about the atmosphere and the band knew this from the offset-they are loved. Is that adoration deserved? Well…

I had an almost academic approach to the night, listening in for error rather than pleasure-what made this band great and what didn’t. There is no other analogy I can really use except this one. I’m an avid music listener. Some songs are so good they are worthy of a repeat. On more than one occasion there were songs sang and performed with such passion and professionalism that I wished I could hit a repeat button but I couldn’t. Therein lied the gold-a rare phenomenon-the beauty of the live performance.

The personal space here made all the difference to the type of performance being rendered. It wasn’t a ‘belt out the songs for the sake of it’ it was ‘do justice by each song-our very best’.  Again the crowd more than perceived this and responded in kind by cheering and clapping all the way through, yet keeping quiet at other times to savour the acoustics and the instrumentals, when of curse they weren’t dancing.

It’s basic professionalism to play ‘well’ but what stood out for me was the incredible attention to detail in the well-crafted instrumentals which added layers and depth to an already impressive performance. At one point I looked at my watch, 30 minutes had passed and I had barely noticed. What interested me was how engaging the band was, that star quality pretty clear.

I took down words to describe the music in less generic terms than what would usually surface in a band review, hopefully I’ve not committed to too many clichés: downloadable, re-listen, and repeat fodder. Others were anthemesque, foot-stompingly good and my favourite-movie soundtrack worthy. The lead singers vocals are hauntingly reaching, echoing long after you’ve heard them, a softness to his voice that is balance by a power to carry some incredible  notes. It all makes for maximum entertainment in the listening department.

Not for the first time in the evening, the lead singer on behalf of the band as whole thanked the fans. I see this happen plenty and I get the impression that much of the time its done out of etiquette rather than genuine conviction. Here, in the intimate dome, this was not the case. I felt appreciated and I’m sure the rest of the audience in the venue did to. Very grounded and humble, it made me like them all the more.

You can imagine the disappointment when it was all over. I considered it a travesty they were finishing ‘so soon’ until of course I looked at my watch and realised the band had been performing for quite some time.

Nothing But Thieves was (on the night) and are a genuine blast, a gust of fresh air but not so far removed from the indie-rock genre that they come across as odd rather than unique. The balance is struck well. The band have their own flavour and it’s a good one.

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Nothing But Thieves – Tufnell Park Dome, London

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