With upbeat and carefree songs and a youthful, energetic stage persona, Only the Poets, captured the 500-strong crowd at Camden’s Dingwalls.

The show started with a speech by novelist and activist James Baldwin which echoed through the speakers. The Reading four-piece’s name derives from Baldwin’s famous excerpt – The Artist’s Struggle for Integrity. Soon enough their new single ‘Stolen Bikes’ took off, and people went crazy.

Only the Poet’s music being mainly guitar and drum based, naturally created a lively and electric atmosphere, which was to never to die out. The band kept this energy up throughout the set, with tracks like ‘Dead Young’ and ‘Even Hell’.

Tom Longhurst the lead singer, interacted with the crowd – explaining the meaning of songs and laughing with the front rows. The excitement and emotion of playing their biggest headline show so far was palpable, but it did not prevent them from delivering a dignified performance.

Between one mosh-pit and another, the fans had the idea of showing their support by lifting up pixeled hearts with “OTP” written on during the most famous single, “Ceasefire”. The band was in disbelief: all the members looked at each other with a huge grin on their faces.  Longhurst stopped singing during the first chorus to stand back and enjoy the view of 500 people screaming their lyrics straight back at them.


Photo: Rory Barnes

After the encore, they came back on stage and ‘Emotional’ started playing in full glory. The crowd was more enthusiastic than ever, especially when Longhurst asked everyone to get down on the floor to then jump up to the count of four.

Only the Poets are a band who tackle everything on their own terms and yet pull it off with ease. They sold out their shows for this tour by promoting it on social media, and they work pretty much independently to ensure they deliver performances like displayed at Dingwalls.

This is just the beginning for this hardworking band, and the future is sure looking bright.

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Silvia Pellegrino

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