Tom Williams & The Boat: Live at the Kingston Hippodrome

There is an air of calm when Tom Williams is present. Having just witnessed him play a relaxed acoustic session that appeared more spontaneous than anything else, he is seen to join the crowd at the Kingston Hippodrome where he is about to play the famous New Slang club night.

As the set starts Williams leads from the centre, surrounded by the other five members that make up Tom Williams & The boat, the team boast superior depth, experience and musicianship that make their performance a special, relaxed and intimate affair.

The title to their latest album, “Teenage Blood”, strikes up,  making an energetic impact and quaffs any feeling that the gig is going to be on the quieter side. The crowd are alert, hanging on Williams’ almost spoken lyrics telling stories of heartbreak and despair in a comical fashion. “90mph” follows after the classic “Concentrate” feeding energy into the set, with wistful, static puffs of sax wrapped around an energetic riff. Smiles beat around the members as they rock around the atmospheric, smokey stage.

Tribal thumping drums follow in “Little Bit In Me” under a perfect riff played by Anthony Vicary, lead guitarist and Williams’ right hand man. “Too Young” and “Trouble With The Truth” added a mellow feel to the electrified second half of the set with tidal plucks and riffs embedded around racy drums and vocals. “See My Evil” and “Get Older” finished the set in a honky-tonk manner as the group dance back and forth ending on a defining, classic Williams piece.  

The band show energy, enthusiasm and a passion for what they play and demonstrate a pure art in creating a deep atmosphere. The small crowd hang on to each beat, thump and word and this is reflected in the great interaction between the two. Williams shows confidence and the whole set goes seemingly flawless.  

Set List:
Teenage Blood
My Bones
Concentrate
90mph
Little Bit In Me
Big Wave
Like You
Too Young
Trouble With The Truth
See My Evil
Get Older

-Matthew French