It’s a rainy Monday evening in Shoreditch and London duo Oh Wonder are about to embark on their 18th ever gig at Village Underground, just around the corner from the cafe they launched their first single just one year ago.
Since then they have teased fans with a new track each month, culminating in their debut album which flows seamlessly live, and surprisingly has already found its peaks. The crowd sing and groove along with opening track Live Wire, as well as Lose It and Landslide as if they were classics.
After just three weeks of touring the performance is surprisingly slick. The duo move effortlessly in the shadow of a neon ‘OW’ on the open brick backdrop of this East London venue, which change to a pink haze for heart warmer Without You and pulse along to the electronic rhythm of Heart Hope and final track of the evening, Technicolor Beat. The vocals and melodies are as clean and minimalist as the studio recordings, and evoke an atmosphere comparable with The XX in their early days. The chemistry between Josephine Vander Gucht and Anthony West is apparent on an acoustic rendition of Midnight Moon and on Higher, the first sing they ever wrote.
The performance has a charm of innocence and feels adorably naive. Josephine takes lots of opportunity to gasp and giggle as she remarks that this is the most people they have ever played to, and takes the time to thank the crew including her best friend who does the merchandise. Track of the evening was the haunting What We Do, a track they describe as being about taking risks and not playing it safe. This is definitely reflective of what Oh Wonder have planned for the future, with a 2016 tour of larger venues including O2 Shepherds Bush Empire in 2016.