High-energy, sing-along anthems
Zach Hughes
13:47 24th January 2020

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The Mowgli’s burst onto the scene in 2013 with their debut album Waiting For The Dawn, a summery collection of Californian alt-rock. Since then, their catalogue of sun-drenched tunes has steadily grown, amassing them a loyal fan base in the process. This is reflected as they take to the stage at the intimate and jam-packed Camden Assembly and are met with a rapturous explosion of cheering and applause.

It becomes immediately apparent that this is going to be an evening of high-energy, sing-along anthems. The set is promptly kicked off with a tight-knit performance of ‘Spacin Out’, and as co-frontman Josh Hogan encourages the crowd to raise their hands and join him in clapping to the beat during the intro, they all happily oblige. By the time the chorus is being smashed out, the audience is a euphoric sea of dancing and singing.  

The energetic setlist continues with a welcome, crowd-pleasing blend of old tracks and new. Their formulaic music doesn’t reinvent the wheel, and it doesn’t have to. The real strength in their performance stems from the vocal prowess that is found in the duets between husband and wife vocalists Josh Hogan and Katie Earl, which is only enhanced by the intimacy of the setting tonight. In between each song, the pair riff off each other with musings about the stories behind the tracks, often garnering laughs from the crowd. After finishing another relentlessly energetic performance of ‘Bad Dream’, Hogan shouts: "this right here is the OPPOSITE of a bad dream".

Despite having formed way back in 2010, we are surprised to learn that this is the first UK tour for The Mowgli's. In another conversational gap in-between tracks, Earl explains that despite this, it feels like a homecoming, especially due to her English heritage. She also thanks the audience, who she says is full of her "aunts, uncles, cousins and dear friends". It’s clear to see from both Hogan and Earl’s beaming smiles that the warm reception on their inaugural UK tour means a lot to them both.

When discussing the story behind ‘Talk About It’, a track that was written in London, they explain that though they haven’t performed in the capital before, it is a city that they hold close to their hearts. The highlights of the show unsurprisingly come at the end of the set with knock-out performances of their lead singles ‘I’m Good’ and ‘San Francisco’, which inspires the night's biggest chorus of cheerful singing.

These anthemic alternative-rock ballads epitomise the appeal of The Mowgli’s. Whilst their sound plays it safe, their catalogue of crowd-pleasing hits go down a storm with the audience all the same. It’s a bit like your favourite comfort food: cheesy and safe perhaps, but you’ll love it all the same.

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Photo: Zach Hughes