Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1084

Welcome to B&S

BRINGING YOU THE STORIES BEHIND MUSIC + ESSENTIAL NEWS, REVIEWS AND INTERVIEWS...

Live

Leon Bridges: Village Underground, London 20/5/15

Leon Bridges: Village Underground, London 25/5/15 @bluesandsoul.com
Leon Bridges: Village Underground, London 25/5/15 @bluesandsoul.com Leon Bridges: Village Underground, London 25/5/15 @bluesandsoul.com Leon Bridges: Village Underground, London 25/5/15 @bluesandsoul.com Leon Bridges: Village Underground, London 25/5/15 @bluesandsoul.com Leon Bridges: Village Underground, London 25/5/15 @bluesandsoul.com Leon Bridges: Village Underground, London 25/5/15 @bluesandsoul.com Leon Bridges: Village Underground, London 25/5/15 @bluesandsoul.com Leon Bridges: Village Underground, London 25/5/15 @bluesandsoul.com Leon Bridges: Village Underground, London 25/5/15 @bluesandsoul.com

There was a buzz around this small corner of central London before Leon Bridges took to the stage. With his track âComing Homeâ gaining momentum and airplay, there was a sense that he might not be doing intimate shows much longer.

A sold-out audience, which included singers James Bey and Jessie Ware â the latter joining him onstage â packed out Village Underground, near Old Street, for his set. It was the perfect venue for him to show why so many people are raving about him.

Likened to classic soul singers Sam Cooke and Otis Redding, his retro sound has been a refreshing breath of fresh air...dressed in a suit and bow tie, it could easily have been the Ed Sullivan show in 1963 as he breezed onto the stage and showed how it is done.

Breathing new life into the soul sound is a well-trodden path, but the signs are looking good for the 25-year-old. His voice is powerful and he looked comfortable in front of the audience...the nostalgic tour-de-force started with a version of âBetter Manâ, a lively and endearing track that instantly drew a reaction from the audience. âThe Flowerâ and âLisa Sawyerâ, both from his upcoming long player followed, and âI Was Wrongâ proved to be one of the highlights from the show.

The band briefly vanished offstage, with Bridges returning to the platform alone. He paused momentarily to introduce Jessie Ware, who joined him in a superb rendition of âSay You Love Meâ. Ware later described Bridges as one of her favourite artists around, and itâs not hard to see why...the set was short but sweet â the show was over by around 9.45pm, leaving the audience hungry for more.

It bodes well for the album, which â if the live show is anything to go by â will probably be best enjoyed on vinyl.

Next time heâs in the UK, Bridges will be performing at the Shepherdâs Bush Empire. By that September date, his star is likely to have risen significantly.

PHOTOS: DAVE BURKE
Words Dave Burke

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

Join the B&S Mailing List

Blues and Soul on Twitter