The Boxer Rebellion. First seen as a support act by a good friend around 2004, quickly picked up by my sister after that and me tagging along most of the times ever since. I kept tagging along because despite the band being dropped by their label, playing in shoeboxes in England, support slots for The Editors, remaining unsigned and doing everything, and I mean everything DIY, releasing through their own label and working in shoe stores to finance their gigs, this band is really good. Their sound is massive, strong. Filled with melody, rhythm and angsty themes. I've always enjoyed their live shows, always solid, always strong. They sound GOOD and that's good with four capitals. They're currently touring their new album, 'The Cold Still', which is received by good reviews and praise. At last! The band is, in 2011, getting the praise and attention they deserve. And it's nice to see. Really nice to see.
The band played De Melkweg on Thursday 23d of March in Amsterdam, the first show of their current European tour, it wasn't sold out but it was packed. It was the biggest stage I've seen them play as headliners, according to the band it was their second biggest gig ever. Which was met by cheer from the audience. The band was clearly in good spirits, smiling, using the space they had on stage, walking around and enjoying what they were doing. Playing their 3 album reportoire.
The sound of The Boxer Rebellion is massive. Strong bass, heavy drums. Amazing guitar skills. It's hypnotizing if you like. A song by the Boxer Rebellion, and this especially live, gets you, grabs you. You get into it, you rock out to it and as explosively the song starts and remains, as explosively it ends. You wake up, wondered what happens before they take you on another journey. There's no words to really fully describe it, it's an experience and the experience is massive and GOOD. You rarely see a band sounding as clear on stage than they do. Time after time after time. They even get better!
After the shows there was a run after the albums. The merchandise table was a battle field. I've rarely seen anything like that ever before and now for the Boxer Rebellion. People were pushing and shoving and actually nervous because what if they sold out. The band still does their own merche sales and were clearly surprised by the run on their CDs and t-shirts. They had no idea what was happening to them. It really was like they were handing out rice to the starving. But despite that my sister was able to give her request for their next tour. They're still the guys they were back then, only getting bigger as a band now. It's fully, fully deserved. I strongly advice to go see them, they're touring intensely these coming months in Europe, America and the UK (if I'm not mistaken) - the website doesn't list the European tour in May yet, but they're playing 5 shows in the Netherlands for sure. You might fully understand then what I've been trying to tell up here.
picture taken from flickr