The London Souls are a rock and roll band, with a twist! Capable of blurring the lines between their influences, with signs of Led Zeppelin and The Beatles seeping through, there’s an air of classic rock about them. Throw in a helping of soul, a dash of funk rock, mix them with a few other elements and you get the unique, refreshing sound The London Souls have captured! For more info, head to Facebook or Twitter.
Based in New York City, the band is comprised of Tash Neal on guitar/vocals and Chris St. Hilaire on drums/vocals. The band have been keeping busy recently, currently in the midst of supporting Catfish and the Bottlemen on their sold out tour, while having just released their sophomore album, ‘Here Come The Girls’ earlier in the year. Following a lengthy delay after their self-titled debut album, The London Souls are back and ready to take up the mantle of being rock & roll’s knights in shining armour. The duo is here tonight at the Sebright Arms, to show the people of London just how great their souls really sound!
The night started off with support from Rainbreakers, self-confessed London Souls fans themselves; they kicked things off in style by performing a lively set, jammed with a mixture of rock, blues and soul. A four piece band from Shropshire, they definitely showed a lot of promise. Highlights included an energetic cover of The Wood Brothers’ ‘Honey Jar’ and their closing song ‘Ain’t Nothin’ Goin’ On’. Rainbreakers’ fiery energy combined with their blues/soulful style of rock; definitely make this band one to watch out for! To find out the latest about Rainbreakers, head to their Facebook page found here.
It wasn’t long until The London Souls took to the stage and the 150 capacity venue became packed with their adoring fans. A long road has led to the band playing here tonight, both literally and metaphorically. Having travelled across the UK whilst supporting Catfish and the Bottlemen, there was also some doubt as to how long it would take for ‘Here Come The Girls’ to be released. Injuries sustained by Tash during a hit and run incident a few years back, left the band’s future in doubt; however Tash managed to make a speedy recovery. Fast forward to today and the night is only just getting started!
The set began with ‘She’s So Mad’, instantly letting anyone in the crowd, who didn’t already know of The London Souls, just what they’re all about! Tash’s passionate strumming on guitar, in addition to the powerful vocals from Chris and himself during the chorus, presented an intensity which immediately got the fans moving to the sound! ‘The River’ followed suit and carried over the same energy.
The band introduced themselves soon afterwards, while thanking everyone for coming out tonight and then it was back to business with ‘Certain Appeal’. ‘Valerie’ was up next, with its crunchy guitar riffs and soulful vocals, it was definitely a highlight. ‘When I’m With You’ maintained the soulfulness, through its powerfully delivered chorus.
The London Souls went on to perform a William DeVaughn cover of his hit soul song, ‘Be Thankful For What You Got’. A great performance, where the groove of Tash’s guitar riffs fused with Chris’s drum beat, worked really well. The song seamlessly transitioned into ‘Beggin’ You Please’, picking up the pace, before following on to ‘Alone’. Throughout the gig, it becomes clear just how The London Souls works so well as a duo – Chris’s exceptional drumming combined with the intensity of Tash’s jamming on guitar, is striking to say the least and leaves no doubt as to how the duo have created a sound, with a somewhat timeless charm.
‘Honey’, ‘All Tied Down’ and ‘Easier Said Than Done’ came up next, demonstrating the band’s capability at creating soulful sounds. The duo didn’t have much to say in-between songs, with banter kept to a minimum. This however, was more than made up for, by the way in which The London Souls let their performances do all the talking! ‘The Sound’ was a perfect example of this, with Chris and Tash having poured all of their energy into the performance. The sweat dripping from Tash’s face was testament to this! The surge of sound during the song was truly incredible and had everyone in the venue enchanted by The London Souls’ talent. A cover of Shuggie Otis’s ‘Sweet Thang’ slowed things down afterwards, before hurtling towards the finish line with another cover – The Beatles’ ‘One After 909’, followed by ‘Under Control’ and finally finishing with another seamless transition into a cover of Hound Dog Taylor & The HouseRockers’ ‘Give Me Back My Wig’. The fans were left thoroughly satisfied by The London Souls’ set.
Chris’s energetic drumming with Tash’s intense riffing, left no room for disappointment. Such was the ferocity of Tash’s strumming and his unyielding nature, that by the end of the set only a few strings remained on his guitar! When a fan shouted out at the end “4 more strings to go…” Tash simply grinned back and said “Only 3 left!” A Bonfire Night to remember, London was definitely alive with the sound of The London Souls tonight!