LIVE: This Wild Life / Rob Lynch @ Underworld, London

By Ben Tipple

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This Wild Life are not your typical band. Having shrunk from a full band to an acoustic duo following their early reception, Kevin Jordan and Anthony Del Grosso have since found themselves embraced by the alternative scene – not least, judging by tonight’s onlookers, the young.

Although predominantly filled by adolescents, it’s clear that This Wild Life’s reach stretches further. There are an unusual amount of parents in the crowd, and the band’s roots in heavier music evidently appeal to fans normally of that persuasion.

In fact, tonight shows This Wild Life as a crossover success. Their almost symphonic melodies and subtle vocals tap into the emotional hardcore market, taking the same fundamental building blocks whilst removing the ferocity. A sound which has seen them picked up by the iconic Vans Warped Tour, and one which has led them to meet tonight’s main support act, Rob Lynch.

Having recently release his debut album, ‘All These Nights In Bars Will Somehow Save My Soul’, Lynch’s set is entirely taken from the record. In-keeping with tonight’s intimate environment, he regales the audience with tales of the aforementioned state-side tour, and more personal insights into the songs. Lynch is clearly more comfortable on a stage than he has ever been – something that is unmistakably reflected in his sound. Tracks such as ‘Whiskey’ and closer ‘My Friends And I’ are perfectly delivered in his increasingly characteristic way, the latter drawing the crowd into an early singalong.

This Wild Life continue the intimacy, yet amp the atmospherics up with their string-laden backing tracks. Exclaiming that the band have more time than usual, vocalist Jordan treats the fans to tales surrounding the tracks, even moving into casual conversation with individual audience members. For a venue that has seen its fair share of explosiveness, This Wild Life are a calm in the storm.

Despite their abundant set-time the duo keep the performance short, opting to perform only eight songs – five of which are taken from their recent ‘Clouded’ LP. A rare appearance of ‘Better With You’ sees the band ramp the emotion, but it’s their older material that causes the biggest reaction. Having broken onto the scene with their cover of Bring Me The Horizon’s ‘Sleepwalking’, it’s no surprise that the audience return every word.

Although This Wild Life are not pioneering a new sound, their immediate die-hard following have built them to where they are today. Unquestionably this is not everyone’s cup of tea – at times the set lacks substance – but This Wild Life have reached many hearts, both before and tonight. It’s a special show, but perhaps more importantly, it’s different.

As set closer ‘History’ rings out, and This Wild Life take to the floor to sign anything and everything, there’s an unrivalled affinity in the room – one which will last well into the night.