LIVE REVIEW: Rixton Play Intimate Show At London’s Bush Hall

They’ve had a Top 20 hit in the US, they’re under the wing of Justin Bieber manager Scooter Braun and their YouTube account has hosted 65 uploaded videos in the last 14 months alone. Considering their debut single hasn’t even been released at home in the UK yet, Rixton aren’t doing too badly at all.

Their gig at London’s relatively cosy Bush Hall this week (July 9) was probably one of the last small shows they’ll play before everything goes stratospheric, and they certainly made the most of it.

If you haven’t been introduced yet, let us fill you in: they’re an instrument-playing four-piece consisting of frontman (and one-time Emmerdale actor) Jake Roche, lead guitarist Charley Bagnall, bass and keyboard player Danny Wilkin and drummer Lewi Morgan. Roche is, incidentally, the son of Shane Richie and Coleen Nolan, and it shows: the guy practically has beads of showbiz sweating from every pore, working the ecstatic crowd like a seasoned pro and even sporting the kind of patterned shirt that his dad’s EastEnders character would consider wearing.

The group have been together since 2012 and their time spent grafting is clearly paying dividends. Their no-messing-around setlist was tight and well executed, the harmonies were flawless and Roche’s vocals were on tip-top form throughout. Their brand of pop-rock just about sets them apart from their obvious competitors: they’ve wisely avoided the same US punk flavour as 5 Seconds of Summer, they’re not as cute and ‘bubblegum’ as The Vamps and the fact they even have instruments in their hands immediately separates them from the almighty One Direction. In fact, if anyone, they probably have the most in common with Lawson, all things considered.

Highlights from the night included a terrific spin on Ariana Grande and Iggy Azalea’s ‘Problem’, Ed Sheeran co-write ‘Hotel Ceiling’ and big debut single ‘Me And My Broken Heart’, which is practically guaranteed to make a big impact on the UK charts when it finally releases this coming weekend (July 13). Despite their relatively ‘new’ status, the vast majority of fans in attendance knew the lyrics to every single orginal song and natural performer Roche had no problem drawing screams and cheers with every tween-baiting thing he said. Peppered between songs were crowd-pleasing moments of banter, including a cameo from a techie who vaguely (not really) resembled Ed Sheeran and the welcome removal of Morgan’s tight white vest. Expect to see him on the cover of Attitude very soon indeed.

Their choice of venue wasn’t amazing (gigs in carpeted rooms are always bizarre) but, given that they’ll probably become more accustomed to stadiums and arenas in the coming months and years, the chance to see the band in an intimate environment was a huge plus for their loyal following. Boybands (in the loose sense of the word) are going through something of a revival at the moment, but with good songs, great chemistry and wouldn’t-kick-’em-out-of-bed looks, there’s plenty of room for Rixton as well. Chart success is inevitable.

Rixton’s debut single ‘Me and My Broken Heart’ is out on July 13.