by Mirianna la Grasta
When speaking about live performances, Oh Wonder, the alt-pop duo from South East London, immediately shows its mettle. If there is a thing Anthony West and Josephine Vander Gucht perfectly know is how to connect with their public. And this is exactly what they did last week at the O2 Forum, Kentish Town, London.
The concert was opened by Aquilo, an indie and alternative duo from Silverdale, Lancashire. Their relaxed tones and deep beats were the perfect introduction to the Oh Wonder’s performance, as they involved the public in a mellow and warm music dimension.
After nearly one hour of Aquilo, all the lights were turned down, creating an atmosphere of excitement and thrill within the public. This sense of suspense was immediately interrupted by green and white colours that enlightened the stage. The screams of people started mixing with a low, metallic, background sound, and then began to fade out as Josephine Vander Gucht played the piano introduction of “Livewire”.
There is no surprise that the sold out at the Forum, on 17 March 2016, is just one of the many Oh Wonder has been rewarded with during the last year. Since the release of the namesake album, the duo has been playing live all over the globe, including the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Russia and above all the United Kingdom.
During their performance at the Forum, the music was incredibly moving and the match between their notes and the lighting design was almost perfect. Moreover, something that stood up during the concert was their simple and direct approach to the public. Their simplicity was clearly visible not only during the pieces, but also in the brief pauses between a song and another. In particular, the duo never stopped thanking the audience for their support with a moved and thrilled voice.
Josephine and Anthony were grateful for the instant success they had since the release of the first song. In fact, the creation of their album has been unusual. Starting in September 2014, the duo has been writing, home-recording and self-releasing one song a month on SoundCloud as well as on YouTube, and this helped them to raise the curiosity and the appreciation of their listeners. As a matter of fact, with a step-by-step releasing, every song has received the right attention and success.
The concert, last Thursday, was a sort of “retrospective” of Oh Wonder’s last year. The duo played all the 15 singles, including “Without You” and “Plans” – two songs that have been created especially for their debut album. Their extremely wonderful, varied and captivating pieces were appreciated by a vast range of people. The public included teenagers, young-adults, as well as older people: they were all involved by the music and danced perpetually as the concert went on.
The duo literally made it big last week. “Without you”, “Landslide”, “Livewire”, “Midnight Moon” and “Lose It” are just some of the singles that made the public go crazy. The indie pop, alternative and electropop notes mixed perfectly together. The whole performance seemed to be timeless and finally dragged the public in a “Technicolour Beat”.