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The London Souls at O2 Academy Birmingham - Preview

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by Andy Coleman (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Birmingham. I like Classic Rock, 70s pop music, football and interviewing celebrities. Follow me on Twitter: @andycoleman9
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Rising New York stars in support slot
If you have tickets to see Catfish and the Bottlemen on their UK tour make sure you arrive early to catch support act The London Souls.

Despite their name, The London Souls hail from New York City and were personally asked by the Catfish crew to join them for British shows, including Birmingham's O2 Academy on November 8.

The London Souls, Tash Neal, Chris St. Hilaire, Here Come The Girls, O2 Academy Birmingham
Miracle: Chris St. Hilaire and Tash Neal - The London Souls

It is something of a miracle that the duo - guitarist/lead singer Tash Neal and drummer/singer Chris St. Hilaire are still making music.

A year after the release of their self-titled debut album Tash was the victim of a hit and run in New York. He was in a coma with a prognosis that he would not walk or talk for six months to a year. He had brain surgery which included the insertion of a metal plate. Amazingly, just weeks after the procedure he was back on stage with Chris.

Playing live and recording the second album, Here Come The Girls, seems to have sped up his recovery.

The London Souls, Tash Neal, Chris St. Hilaire, Here Come The Girls, O2 Academy Birmingham
Here Come...The London Souls: Chris St. Hilaire and Tash Neal

After the success of their debut record the follow-up was originally scheduled for release in 2013 but, delayed by what happened to Tash, eventually came out earlier this year.

Produced by Soulive's Eric Krasno, Here Come The Girls melds the influences of classic rock, folk, and even hip hop rhythms into a gritty, bluesy blend.

Opener When I'm With You mashes together Byrds-y folk-rock with Badfinger's more bubblegum soul moments, with a little bit of The Beatles' Revolver sprinkled on top.

Later, the track Steady calls to mind the muscular rock of Led Zeppelin, while Valerie combines southern rock riffs with British invasion harmonies and Honey shuffles through biting Chicago blues territory.

There a touch of Dixieland in How Can I Get Through which contrasts with the rhythmic folk of Hercules. The album slows down with Isabel, which was inspired by the protests and violence in the Middle East.

To mark the UK shows new single, Alone, is released on November 13.

Catfish and the Bottlemen/ The London Souls 2015 tour dates:


6th & 7th: O2 Brixton Academy;
8th: O2 Academy Birmingham;
10th: Rock City, Nottingham;
11th: Cambridge Corn Exchange;
12th: O2 Guildhall, Southampton.

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Why? Highly regarded The London Souls support critically acclaimed Catfish and the Bottlemen
When: November 8, 2015
Phone: 0121 622 8250
Where: O2 Academy, Birmingham
Cost: 16.87
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