courtesy Tessa Angus

The Boxer Rebellion

British rockers cancel North American tour, are still rad

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These days, it can sometimes be difficult to find a song with a theme other than that of the tragedy of love. Musical works touching on eerie themes of death and out-of-body experiences, such as astral projection, are few and far between. A London-based band by the name of The Boxer Rebellion, however, has decided to approach the art of songwriting differently.

The London, England four-piece debuted their most recent album, The Cold Still, in February of this year. This is the band's third album in their 10 years of playing together.

Their latest creation is comprised of songs weaving together powerful themes, lyrics and melodies.

"There's a song called 'Caught by the Light,' and its about drifting away," explains frontman Nathan Nicholson. "[It's] kind of like an out-of-body experience, where your soul is leaving your body and you're watching the world as you ascend." Soft, surreal lyrics and hauntingly beautiful instrumentation attest to this.

The Cold Still is mostly meant to be experienced as a book might be -- in a linear fashion, from start to finish. However, this doesn't mean that the individual songs need be rigidly attached to the album as a whole.

"[We] think it works really well as a full piece . . . [but] you've got to take into account that not everyone is going to do that, so we wanted to make everything individually great, but also have some sort of continuity to it."

At press time, the band was about to embark on the second stint of their North American tour and was enthusiastic about the prospect of performing live in the great Canadian West.

"We've only ever played in Vancouver and Toronto, so it will be really good to explore a bit more of Canada. We are really looking forward to it," Nathan shared.

Unfortunately, earlier this week The Boxer Rebellion had to cancel all upcoming North American tour dates due to an undisclosed personal tragedy. The tour would have included an October 8 stop at The Republik in Calgary. This isn't to say, however, that the boys from Britain won't be eager to play in North America in the future.

On the difference between North American and European tours, Nathan comments, "People are just more up for it, if that makes sense. The crowd seems a lot more responsive and respectful, and for the most part, in the U.S. and Canada people just seem to enjoy going to live gigs."

Although you won't be able to check them out here, make sure to get your hands on a copy of The Cold Still -- especially if you like music that's about more than just heartbreak.