Written and Photographs by Jaimie Milburn
“They’re not a boy band because they play all their own instruments,” scolds my friend as we enter The Mod Club on Saturday night. On the bill for the evening was British four-piece Lawson making their Canadian debut, following closely on their North American launch in Los Angeles and New York City at the end of January. You can see why one would be lead astray into thinking Lawson are just another boy band import. Much of their success during their first trip to North America is due to fellow Brits The Wanted, and their support back home. The word-of-mouth approach seems to be working with The Mod Club comfortably full of females ranging from teens to women in their late-twenties and older eager to catch a glimpse of Lawson on a cold February night.
So yes, technically Lawson aren’t a “boy band” in the traditional sense. Though they may perform all their music live with their own instruments and opt-out on choreography, there is a certain prettiness about them paired with lovesick lyrics that flirts with the boy band title. Technicalities aside though, Lawson proved that they are worth the overseas hype. The crowd was hung up on every word out of lead singer Andy Brown’s mouth from start to finish and the band’s energy was obvious to everyone in the room. Despite Lawson’s debut album, Chapman Square, only being available in the UK right now, the audience belted out track after track from the release with notable favourites including “Waterfall” and “Standing In The Dark” which the crowd eagerly serenaded a cappella at the end of the set. There were plenty of pop covers too thrown into the set including “Call Me Maybe”, Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream”, and a much more upbeat, inching on twangy version of Ed Sheeran’s “The A-Team”.
While Lawson may not have crossed over to the North American markets yet in the same manner as their predecessors One Direction, The Wanted, and Olly Murs, it is certainly only a matter of time until they do so. Sure, some of their tracks could be categorized as generic pop-rock, but they’re the type of sound that Top 40 radio would eat up, and with the right North American tour placement these four guys could very easily become the next UK music success story.