|The Boy Least Likely To
April 3, 2006 – Paramount Theatre – Seattle, WA
by Katie Sauro
Simply put, cuddly folk-pop charmers, Jof Owen and Peter Hobbs, are showmen. The duo expertly presents their saccharine songs in delightfully charismatic fashion, enamoring the crowd with every hand-clap, every foot-stomp, and, in the case of Owen, every Billy Idol-esque fist-pump.
Beneath a giant banner displaying a band of childlike cartoon animals, and backed by a four-piece band that included a fiddle, synths, and a smattering of other instruments, Owen and Hobbs opened with the bouncy hysteria that is “Hugging My Grudge,” the two sharing lead vocal. They then proceeded to play most of their debut album, The Best Party Ever, making even the most depressing songs (“Sleeping With a Gun Under My Pillow” and “The Battle of the Boy Least Likely To,” among others) evoke memories of ‘60s California pop, inexplicably sounding like an even more blissful version of the Beach Boys.
The onstage banter between Owen and Hobbs was entertaining to watch, as well, especially when Owen described one song as being about a tiger, before the band launched into the inane “Eye of the Tiger,” and then drifted into the wistful “My Tiger My Heart.” Other highlights included the country-tinged “I’m Glad I Hitched My Apple Wagon to Your Star,” a tune, as the band explains, about a fake road trip to the country music capital of the world, Nashville, Tennessee.
The Boy Least Likely To is a truly innovative young band that combines pop sensibilities, a colorful stage presence, and endearing, yet thought-provoking lyrics—regardless of whether the James Blunt-obsessed audience appreciated them or not.