Hudson Taylor, Jack Morris: O2 Academy, Liverpool

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Hudson Taylor

Hudson Taylor on stage at the O2 Academy

Hudson Taylor have come far since their days busking in Dublin with a headline tour to their name. They played a sold-out show at the 02 Academy and Getintothis’ John Hutchings couldn’t help but be impressed. 

Hudson Taylor have come a long way since their days of busking on the streets of Dublin. The brothers have gone from playing outside the tourist-heavy areas of the city to having their own headline shows sell out across the UK, and a fair few impressive achievements on the way such as being on the bill for one of the Rolling Stones concerts at Hyde Park. At the ages of just 21 and 20, the pair certainly have the world at their feet and with their debut album, Singing for Strangers, due to come out March 30, we were extremely interested to see how they would get on.

It was plain to see from the opening song, Just a Thought, that Alfie and Harry were born to perform. They oozed confidence from start to finish, and not in an arrogant way. It’s easy to assume that they would at least be quite nervous at the start, with it not just being a sell-out show but the very first time they have performed in Liverpool at all. However, any hint of nerves were expertly hidden and that was reflected by their performance. Perhaps this trait was picked up from Jake Bugg, another artist who started off at a young age, who they supported in his most recent tour. The crowd interaction was also top notch, as they regularly instigated a conversation with the audience in between songs.

The atmosphere was just as you’d expect at this sort of gig. Relaxing and ambient for the most part but crowd pleasers such as Chasing Rubies and set-closer Battles, as well as an extremely good cover of AC/DC classic Back in Black, were by far the best received tracks, with the crowd singing their hearts out along with the band.

This however made us consider the timing of this tour. We understand by having the tour before the release of the album it creates more buzz for the record (backed up by the large response from the crowd when asked who’s pre-ordered the album) and that their schedule is possibly too busy to tour after its release, but we just felt that this gig would have been so much better if we as the crowd were familiar with the new record.

When they played singles such as Battles and Chasing Rubies; the atmosphere was unbelievable. Back in Black saw people who may not like AC/DC head banging along. It was during the new tracks that, while received well in general, the atmosphere fell a bit flat in comparison. We have no doubt however that if the crowd knew the record, it would have been a sing-a-long from start to finish so it is a bit of the shame to hear them before the release of the album.

Southern, who were billed as the main support, were forced to pull out due to illness so friend of Alfie and Harry, Jack Morris, stepped up as the main support act. As Hudson Taylor know themselves (they got the spot at Hyde Park due to Tom Odell pulling out last minute), this is a daunting step-up but big opportunity to showcase your talent. We can’t fully judge him as we only caught the last song of his set, but fans of comedian and star of comedy Uncle, Nick Helms, would surely see the similarity between the two. The shouting did nothing but irritate us we’re afraid, and there was a hint of an internal groan when he came on the stage during Hudson Taylor’s set for a collaboration.

Overall though, it was a thoroughly enjoyable gig. We would definitely recommend catching them next time they’re in town. Just rest your vocal cords the day before, you’ll be singing along non-stop.

Photos by Getintothis’ Michael Kirkham

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