Booking a nine-piece band to play at a diminutive vintage shop/live music venue; an act of madness, surely? Something of a triumph, actually. As the band name suggests, Jonathon Holder & The Good Thinking centres around Mr Holder, and tonight’s venue seriously struggles to contain his ambitions. Paper Dress Vintage is a shop which combines vintage clothing, yoga, and live music, opposite the Hackney Overground in East London. And as all the band members and backing vocalists walk up the stairs in formation, this place doesn’t know what is about to hit it.
Jonathon Holder & The Good Thinking was born from the collaboration of Jonathon Holder, and 2017 MPG Breakthrough Producer of the Year, Andrew Hunt, and their mutual passion for everything musical: modern pop, ‘70s soul, ‘90s hip hop, and gospel music are somehow juiced together for this project.
Holder was selected by O2 to support the likes of Rita Ora, Rudimental, Mystery Jets, Chipmunk, and Tinchy Stryder across a series of UK venues. But tonight, we are treated to an intimate headline set. There are support acts, but these indie bands are mercilessly blown out of the water by the final set of the evening. Backing vocalists are crammed together on the left of the stage, band on the right, and Holder dead centre, with his myriad of keyboards.
They launch into tracks like Harder Than Life, a retro, organ-led foot stomper, with a singalong falsetto chorus. Then there’s the brass synth anthem, We Will See, where the band’s gospel influences shine very brightly indeed. And there’s a very exciting taste of things to come, as the audience are treated to the latest single, Count Your Blessings — this undeniable tune utilises the four female backing vocalists to devastating affect, and then Holder and Hunt join in harmony for the verse. Check out the music video, too - well worth a watch.
The assembled guests demand an encore with shouts of ‘more!’ Holder, keeping the set short and sweet, replies: “There’ll be more at Notting Hill Arts Club on the 24th!” ‘The future’s bright’ may have been the slogan of another phone network besides O2, but it’s most certainly one you can apply to Jonathon Holder & The Good Thinking. Undoubtedly one of the most excitingly unique acts in the UK right now, now is the time to see them while they are still
performing at these intimate venues.