Gig Review: Hudson Taylor @ The Fleece
by Polly Hember
The Dublin duo Hudson Taylor have a renowned reputation for impeccable, high-energy live performances. With their captivating blend of folk-pop, catchy and emotive guitar lines and bursting anthemic choruses, it’s no surprise that their Fleece gig was sold-out. Presenting new music as well as old fan-favourites, Hudson Taylor are back on the road with their first headline tour in two years.
Infectious, fun and fierce; Hudson Taylor gigs are always ones to look out for. Met with unbounded enthusiasm onstage, the audience sung along to almost every song. They delivered a long set list roaming between old and new material, starting off strong with ‘Chasing Rubies’. Accompanied by four other musicians on stage, their sound was full and accomplished. Soaring violin, pounding drums, dark bass, keys and more all contributed to the two brother’s flawless guitar lines.
Harry and Alfie Hudson-Taylor’s striking harmonies were still at the heart of their performance; reminiscent of Simon and Garfunkel’s haunting voices, sending shivers up and down spines with the emotional ‘Care’ and ‘Just a Thought’
Hudson Taylor live | (c) Dara Munnis
Setting down their instruments and stepping away from their microphones halfway through the set, they introduced “a few quieter songs”, and performed acoustically, accompanied by just an un-miced guitar. Mesmerising, organic and rootsy, the audience was stunned silent by these acoustic gems. They presented exciting new material, ‘Only to Easy’, ‘One in a Million’ and ‘Old Soul’ were standout songs, filled with romantic tales of heart-warming intimacy and heartbreak alike. Saving their latest release ‘Run With Me’ till their encore, these new songs leant more towards modern pop influence, packed with satisfying ‘ooohs’, ‘whoa-ohs’, catchy riffs and foot-tapping choruses. Building up the momentum with more well-known songs, ‘Feel It Again’, ‘Battles’ and ‘For The Last Time’ were all saved till later and were met with unabashed enthusiasm. A magnificent three-song strong encore held a joyous rendition of ‘Don’t Know Why’.
Their studio-recorded album Singing For Strangers makes some songs feel flat, presenting refined, glossy and hyper-produced songs. Hudson Taylor’s live performances are quite the opposite: raw, lively and organic, they manage to sing about heartbreak and love with authenticity and immediacy. It’s hard not to fall in love with Hudson Taylor’s charm and their rousing folky roots and feel-good pop sound - they thanked Bristol again and again in thick Dublin accents, promising us they would be back soon. Hudson Taylor are back on the road again and OTB couldn’t be happier. We can’t wait to hear their beautiful new material recorded, and hope that the raw, rootsy magic of their live performance is captured for us to relive through our headphones. But in the meantime, all we can do is encourage you to see them live whenever you can.