After a glorious day of Spring sunshine Far Out were lucky enough to be treated to one of California’s brightest stars of neo-soul; Mr Nick Waterhouse and his fantastic ensemble at the newly opened Oslo in Hackney, London. Moving through the bearded ‘individuals’ of Dalston we arrived in Hackney to find a Mod revival and one of the best dressed audiences I have ever seen, all primping their collars and adjusting their blazers ready for the twisting and shouting which was sure to ensue.
After an admirable performance from 18 year old Max Pope the suavest band Hackney has seen in years calmly and methodically took to the stage. “Hi, I’m Nick Waterhouse and thank you for coming” is the prefix to one the most enjoyable gigs I have had the pleasure of attending.
Following the recent release of Waterhouse’s second LP Holly, which gained the same critical acclaim as his debut Time’s All Gone Waterhouse has been touring across Europe leaving a wake of Oxford Shirts and sharp suits behind him as he peddles his very own brand of Americana.
Dabbling between his two albums Waterhouse displayed the cool and collected ability which rings true throughout his collection, with minimal fuss he swaggers into crowd favourites I Can Only Give You Everything and If You Want Trouble manipulating the audience into a heaving, sweating dance contest. When Say I Wanna Know was released on the crowd they went beserk and enthused into a swinging collective all devouring this soulful dish.
Full of bright and brassy horns, rock and roll keys and enough verve to unsettle a nun the set continued through tracks Ain’t There Something Money Can’t Buy and (Ty Segall’s) It No. 3 maintaining the incredible atmosphere. The night did have a sense of a collective gathering of minds and music lovers who weren’t at the gig for kudos or some sociopathic superiority but for the most important thing; the music.
With the encore Waterhouse continued to display not only his affection for London but the crowd, embellishing tracks with extended sax solos and juttering riffs which only added further delight to the dancing audience. As the last leg of the European tour London gave a good account of itself as one of musical hubs of the world, and not just the West End.
If you ever get the chance to see Nick Waterhouse and his perfectly polished band I would grab it with both hands and get ready to spend the whole gig moving your feet.