Tuesday, November 8, 2011

All at Sea

Jamie Cullum - HMV Forum - 18th October 2011

I tried to see Jamie Cullum live years ago. Back after his second album was released, he played at a club in Penrith, Sydney and I missed out on tickets. To be honest, I haven't completely kept up with his music in recent years. There's at least one album that I've never heard, but I'm still interested to have made the trip up to North London to finally see him. Thankfully, his set included plenty of material from his second album (some lyrics slightly altered though as it's been a while and Twentysomething is now definitely Thirstysomething).

His band included some very impressive multi-instrumentalists and it occured to me early on in the night that it's hard to classify the type of show. It was either the jazziest rock gig I've been to, or the rockiest jazz gig. Probably the latter, even though Cullum's on stage persona tends to lean towards the former. The frontman antics were jarring for about 30 seconds, but between his energy and his very easy and humble banter with the crowd, it became clear that he knows exactly how to use his charisma. There's no doubt that he really just wants to entertain, and he seems to derive such joy from performing, and creating performance in others. Towards the end of the night he organised the crowd into an impressive three part harmony and the shher delight on his face when the crowd hit the sound indicated that the interaction was as much for his pleasure than anyone else's.

There was some decent variety. Cullum's brother joined him onstage at one point and the second half of his set was cover heavy, including his ever impressive version of Jeff Buckley's Lover, You Should Have Come Over. Overall, it was an infectious performance. One that would have been difficult not to enjoy. The two Brisbane lads whom I chatted to during my tube ride to Charing Cross seemed to agree. It's always nice having a post gig wrap up with people equally enthusiastic about live music.

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