REVIEW: White Lies at Wedgewood Rooms, Southsea

White Lies frontman Harry McVeigh onstage at the Wedgewood Rooms, Southsea. Picture: Paul Windsor
White Lies frontman Harry McVeigh onstage at the Wedgewood Rooms, Southsea. Picture: Paul Windsor

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The noisy crowd filling the Wedgewood Rooms to its capacity seems to know what to expect from White Lies’ first appearance in Portsmouth since they played the Guildhall in 2009.

Through the entire performance hands are raised and bodies sway like the arms of a sea anemone, and in one huge swell they sing along.

White Lies are a band difficult to pin down by comparatives, However, for the uninitiated, several bands play across my mind like a Japanese noh play: darkly optimistic post-punk a la Joy Division, or Editors with a colourful ‘80s indie feel in the vein of the Teardrop Explodes and Echo and The Bunnymen.

Singer-guitarist Harry McVeigh has a clear, strong voice which is very reminiscent of Teardrop singer Julian Cope.

Harry’s sharp diction makes his lyrics easy to grasp, while the guitars, prominent keyboards, rock solid bass and drums drove the songs firmly.

White Lies’ music is somehow a unique blend of darkness and light; love and cynicism, joy and sadness. Their set was a stomping, crowd-pleasing sweep across their 10-year and four-album career.

Be curious and seek them out: there is truth in these white lies...