Who: White Rabbits / Goldheart Assembly Where: Hoxton Bar & Grill, London When: 28th July Photos: Meg Mackay This was a show I had been eagerly anticipating for a while. Despite the late cancellation of Harlem Shakes from the bill the prospect of seeing White Rabbits bring their high octane live show to the intimate Hoxton Bar & Kitchen was still suitably appealing. I'll be honest here, I'm sometimes prone to making some pretty rash judgements... No, really, I can be a little judgemental... By the time that Harlem Shakes' replacements on the bill Goldheart Assembly had kept everyone in the house waiting whilst they plonked their way through an extended sound check and readied themselves onstage, judgmental clouds were forming. It's fair to say that I was a little concerned about what was about to unfold before me. I needn't have worried though. Their melodic pop sound is straight from a time that closely fits their appearance - somewhere in mid-70s Americana. Had it not been for their between-song chatter I would not have placed them as English. I'm pretty sure that the guitarist appeared in the movie 'Milk' or perhaps it was Starsky and Hutch? Anyway, theirs is a melodic sound choc full of harmonies that will (and indeed has) drawn comparisons to Fleet Foxes, but they are no wannabe cover act. They have tracks that certainly stand up in their own right. Tunes such as 'So Long, St Christopher' and 'Oh Really' are crackers with the latter a catchy upbeat number that you'll swear you know but (probably) don't (yet). Their set went down really well with the hipster Hoxton crowd and I for one was suitably impressed. By the time they closed their 40 minute set and announced an impending release with Fierce Panda, they had managed to get everyone in the mood for the headline act. Keep an eye out for this lot, they are certainly worth checking out should they play in a venue near you - Fierce Panda are not often wrong (see here)! As a warm up act the Goldheart Assembly had done their job, and some... so much so that it was going to take quite a performance from the headline act to top it. After a quick trip to the bar and a refill of Red Stripe there was a noticeable swell in the size of the crowd. Where had they been hiding for the support? Had White Rabbits fans been pulled from a hat? (Sorry, had to make one terrible/tenuous magician pun). Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, by the time that Brooklyn's White Rabbits took to the stage the Hoxton Bar and Kitchen was fill to bursting point. Also full to bursting point was the tiny stage... The only swinging cats in the venue came in the shape of the hipster hoxtonites in the audience, there was certainly no room for that on stage. In all honesty it was a pretty heroic effort to get the six band members, two guitars, bass, keyboards and two drum kits set up on the increasingly small stage. They did succeed however and White Rabbits got Hoxton hopping with a rowdy set that comprised a healthy mix of old and new tracks. The 'Rabbits own blend of 'dance hall' piano and guitar rock (think Cold War Kids, but a lot better) seemed to strike a chord with the locals and created a real buzz about the venue. With so many lo-fi alt-folk bands doing the rounds at the moment White Rabbits offer something refreshing in their live show. Rather than stripping everything back and going acoustic, they plump for a high energy, full sounding and down right frenzied performance. I guess it's a little more difficult to strip everything back with six band members including two drummers, but it really works. They are another of these multi-talented groups where every band member turns their hand to a bit of everything. The infectiously pounding rhythm section is provided by up to 3 band members at times and is central to the signature White Rabbits sound throughout. Vocals are another shared function with the keyboardist and guitarist harmonising perfectly together with a little help from their friends and (during some tracks) the audience as well. The set included a string of new numbers from second album 'It's Frightening' that all held up well to the live performance test without ever quite hitting the joyous highs of some of their older ones. Having said that their new single (and recent iTunes Single of the Week) 'Percussion Gun' was inspired and met with rapturous applause. Other highlights in the set included 'Kid on My Shoulders', 'Whilst We Go Dancing' and 'The Plot' which again got Hoxton both singing and dancing (bobbing). By the time they drew the set to a close the sold-out audience were in fine voice. For me however, there was just one issue, I wanted a bit more. The 45-minute set felt a little short and left me hungry for more. That said, it was a cracking performance from a band who look good value to fulfill their potential in becoming indie-rock's next big thing. Catch them now if you can.