REVIEW: Jamie Lawson at The Islington
The Islington’s audience was overflowing outside the venue, eyes and ears fixed on Jamie Lawson’s acoustic concert in London, fresh from touring in Australia and New Zealand. Lawson brought just a guitar and his voice to the stage, showcasing songs off his newly recorded yet-to-be-released, much anticipated second album, as well as songs such as Almost All The Time from his debut.
Lawson’s enchanting songs were stand-out in their musicality, with a unique rugged edge to his performance which made him appealing to a wide demographic. Lawson had a very friendly presence on stage, with the intimacy of the venue enabling him to communicate with the audience on a personal level; an element important to the style of folk, acoustic music that he was performing, allowing us to be a part of the performance. His closing song Ahead of Myself saw him encouraging much audience participation, the audience taking a part of the chorus for themselves.
The Islington crowd had the honour of hearing Lawson perform some songs for the first time, such as The Only Conclusion. Though Lawson claimed this song probably wouldn’t work well on an acoustic, he certainly proved himself wrong as it was one of the highest-flying songs of the nights. Lawson’s musical talent was particularly prominent in this song, as he integrated a skilled fade-out on the guitar, something which I have never witnessed a musician do live on stage before. This also proved that his sound was coming largely from his own talent and skills, showing the creative authority that Lawson takes with his songs and performances- something usually not seen at gigs today. This was furthered by his final song, which he performed without the aid of a microphone, yet his voice filled the venue with its clean, pure sound.
Lawson’s most well-known Wasn’t Expecting That was the highly anticipated song of the night, with Lawson jokingly celebrating how he is now “big down under,” as the song has just achieved platinum selling status in Australia. The crowd was stunned silent during this performance, with Lawson clearly holding a special place in his heart for this song, evident by the loving and peaceful expression on his face as he performed it. Lawson also covered Bacharach’s I’ll Never Fall In Love Again, however revolutionising the original band song, adapting it to his own raw, acoustic style. As well as the alchemy of his songs, the voice itself was astonishing, with his falsetto stunning the audience- something which hasn’t been heard in live music for too many years, reminiscent of the classic pop and folk tunes that defined the modern music industry in the first place.
Jamie Lawson’s second album is set to be released later this year, and he has proved himself to be one of the most musical and purest talents in live and recorded music today.