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White Lies @ O2 Academy 26/11/2016

White Lies made their return to Liverpool for the first time in seven years as they brought their latest album, Friends to the O2 Academy along with their classics.

At one point during the gig, frontman Harry McVeigh apologised for taking so long to return to Merseyside. It was 2009 when at the time, the fresh-faced band played a flurry of gigs in the city on the back of their critically acclaimed debut album, To Lose My Life. Seven years on and three albums later, the band came back to Liverpool, where many fans have eagerly waited for their long overdue return.

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The Ramona Flowers frontman, Steve Bird

Before any band had struck a chord, the Academy was heaving, the atmosphere was great with fans already in high spirits, singing and chanting. Eventually, support band, The Ramona Flowers came on to show us just why they’re latest album, Part Time Spies is why their following a similar path to the band they were supporting.

 

It felt like the Bristolian band were the perfect warm up act, with a mix of heavy riffs and techno, a formula that has worked so well for White Lies. It was a fun set to start the night, with songs like ‘Hurricane‘, ‘Sharks‘ and latest single ‘Dirty World‘, The Ramona Flowers charismatic performance only added to the excitement that was already at high levels.

When White Lies finally started, it was surreal, the best way to describe it was like when your football team score a goal in a big game to win the match. It was a celebration to see the London trio walk on to the stage after being away from Liverpool for so long.

The set was filled with the biggest and loudest that the band had to offer from their four album discography. It was noted a few times by Harry that since this was the first time back in Liverpool in such a long time, that they decided to change the set list a bit, bringing songs back into their set that haven’t been played for quite some time. Including fan favourite, ‘Price Of Love‘ and ‘From The Stars‘ both from their first album.

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Harry McVeigh reaching out to the packed O2 Academy

The only small negative in such a thrilling night would be how the incredibly talented drummer, Jack Lawrence-Brown, was tucked away in to the corner of the stage behind bassist, Charles Cave, making it hard at times to see his talent in action.

Mixed with the old was of course the new, as they performed tracks from their fourth album Friends. The saying goes, if something’s not broken, don’t try to fix it and for White Lies, it couldn’t be more accurate. They’re a success for a reason and the new songs, such as ‘Take It Out On Me‘, ‘Morning In LA‘ and ‘Come On‘ all fitted in with the older stuff perfectly.

Throughout, the band and the crowd were bouncing off each other, the mood in the O2 Academy was electric as the fans, at times, were somehow even louder than the band when singing back. There wasn’t a moment where the atmosphere dipped, from start to end the crowd were up for it, constantly wanting more. Even in the gap waiting for the encore to begin, the fans were chanting the chorus to ‘Death‘, which closed out the original set.

When they inevitably returned, we were treated to a spine-tingling finale when the night closed with their hit single from their second album Ritual, ‘Bigger Than Us‘.

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White Lies made their return to Liverpool for the first time in seven years

They apologised throughout the night for not being back sooner but after putting on one of the gigs of the year in Liverpool, all is forgiven provided they don’t leave it too long next time.

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