Before No Guidnce even set foot on stage for their headline gig at The Lower Third, there was an electric energy in the air. As tunes by Ne-Yo and FLO blasted out (inciting the evening’s earliest sing-a-longs), there was a palpable buzz around the sold-out event. This was only amplified when revellers were encouraged to chant the group’s name loud enough that they could hear it in their dressing room. It’s a request that was enthusiastically obeyed.
The crowd filling the cosy venue were eager to see the rising boyband in the flesh. The London quartet – made up of Ebubé, Josh, Kaci and Zeekay – are already beloved on TikTok, where they’ve earned 2.7 million followers for their nostalgia-laced R&B tracks, and viral acapella covers of tunes by the likes of Drake and Bruno Mars.
Their debut London headline show saw their vocal prowess and Nineties indebted sound brought off screen and into a live concert, with the crowd reaction akin to ecstatic punters watching the boybands of yesteryear. The exhilarating fan response added to the thrill and it seems clear the group will soon be sizing up from intimate venues like this one.
Walking out, the four-piece were greeted gleefully, the energy only intensifying as they launched into slinky earworm Committed. “I’m assuming you guys are here because you like our music, right?” Zeekay grinned a few songs in; yet given the early feedback, he already knew the answer.
No Guidnce themselves were meticulously rehearsed. Despite the snug stage size, the musical performance was partnered with smooth choreography and well thought-out lighting. Several songs saw them embrace the boyband trope of retreating to sing from on top of high stools (including for a gorgeous mash-up of Kehlani’s Nights Like This and SZA’s Snooze), although perhaps disappointingly there was no dramatic moment of standing up for the key change here.
This precision worked to No Guidnce’s favour, but also did them a disservice. There was clear talent on show: their complex, soaring harmonies impressed, and on-stage charm endeared. At points, though, the performance felt restricted, with too much focus on moving through the motions. The production occasionally overwhelmed vocals, (making it difficult to tell if they were live or not).
The real magic shone through when they let go. In one moment, when an extended introduction to a new song took longer than expected, they breezily vamped to fill the time. From their easy interactions with the crowd as they serenaded the front rows, to their sheer delight as words were sung back to them, these moments were magnetic. Give it time, and No Guidnce might just be the next great boyband.