“Started from the bottom now we’re here” were the exact words uttered as we stepped onto the balcony of London’s iconic ‘Monument’ landmark. Having conquered 62m of spiral staircase, we were short of breath from the hike and even more so from the view. The ascent to the balcony had given me 10 minutes to get over my irrational fear of heights, and the bottle of Prosecco waiting at the top was well deserved- it seems the fear had temporarily fleeted.
This intimate performance in association with BalconyTV saw Will and the People showcase their forthcoming third album Whistleblower. BalconyTV, filming all their videos from balconies across the world, couldn’t have found a better view of London than on top of the iconic Monument.
Peering round the bend, we were confronted by jolly gentlemen wearing vibrant smiles and warbling angelic harmonies. Occupying such a small space, on what was a very limited terrace, sound bellowed with precision and ease. With few instruments the band produced noises I didn’t think were possible, most noticeably in lead single ‘Trustworthy Rock’ where the tempo changes when least expected just to keep listeners on their toes.
Their live performance outshined all my expectations; it was slick, groovy and refreshingly different from the buzz bands surrounding the UK’s current music scene. It is in this way that Will and the People have managed to gain such an extensive fanbase, by offering music so exuberant and contagious it surpasses others in the industry. Their success has enabled the band to remain entirely independent, building their own recording studios in Brixton and releasing through their own label: not something that can be said for a lot of bands.
Standout track of the evening was most definitely ‘Formula’ whose lyrics “This is for the people who feel it in their hearts, but don’t get on too well” echoed in my head for hours after, accompanied by the signature vibrant quirky beats of the WATP sound.
Throughout their performance we huddled in a corner bopping along to catchy riffs, which swirled in the wind through the rooftops of London. It was thoroughly entertaining watching others subtly skanking and oppressing the urge to break out into full dance whilst Will and the People performed infectious single ‘Shakey Ground’: an obvious merit to the influential nature of the song.
Eight O’clock saw Will whispering love songs to the sunset as he sang ‘Baby’ behind panoramic views of crimson London. Soaking in the scenery of Tower Bridge and the Shard, as the river reflected the spectrum of colours sprawled across the sky, was perfectly sound-tracked by this. When I had envisioned my Tuesday evening, champagne in hand watching a group of handsome men serenade me in the wake of the sunset, did not spring to mind. Nevertheless, I could not have been happier!
Their forthcoming album is out on the 15th of September.
Keep your eyes peeled for footage from BalconyTV in early September.
Photos by Paul Black