"I worked behind the till at Rough Trade in London, and now we're on stage at Rough Trade in New York City!"
I instantly fell in love with Oh Wonder upon hearing their song "Shark" on YouTube back in 2014 (video on the left). When I heard they were coming to Brooklyn, I immediately bought tickets. This was way back in March, so it was a long wait. Oh Wonder kept busy, working on their self-titled debut album, and spending a year releasing one song a month for free online. Definitely a unique way to build up an album release and grow attention. Characterized by harmonized male/female vocals and atmospheric piano and synth-led instrumentation backed by sparse electronic elements, Oh Wonder was as good live as they are on record.
The opening act was the mononymous Howard, who hit the stage with his Guild acoustic guitar and an effects board that included a looping pedal.
Oh Wonder took the stage next. Anthony West and Josephine Vander Gucht were supported by a full band, including a drummer, bassist, and even Josephine's brother on saxophone.
Josephine split her time between the synth and a Nord Electro 5 keyboard.
The backdrop of the stage were giant lights with the letters O and W, reminiscent of their debut album cover.
Probably one of my favorite shots from the Oh Wonder show. Josephine said it was their first show ever in New York, and that they would be returning in a few months.
She also told a story about how she used to work the register at the Rough Trade near Brick Lane in London (which I visited when I was over there). She was still in amazement that she was on stage at the NYC location (which she said, for the record, was much better than the London location).
Anthony took over keyboard duty on a few songs.
Other times, he was playing his Fender Telecaster guitar
The two had a great time, and so did the crowd.
Since they only had one album, there was no encore but they took the time to share their gratitude for the New York crowd and said they'd be filming a music video in Brooklyn the next day.