Feng Suave // Sebright Arms // Live Review

Live Reviews, Uncategorized
Feng Suave; Spiral Magazine

Amsterdam-based psych-soul band ‘Feng Suave’ at The Sebright Arms (05/12/18)

When you see a band mid-week amidst the hustle and they not only unhinge you from your daily life, but in their wake, completely re-adjust your focus, that’s something beyond the control of the many. Feng Suave’s lo-fi psychedelia blends silky bass and reverb’d guitar wrapped around soulful vocals. And when paired with their sensitive lyrics, you cannot help but be encouraged to reconsider what we otherwise take for granted; the stars above our heads and the earth at our feet is all we need. Keeping grounded and in touch with the harmony to be had with natural world is the result of Feng Suave induced daydreaming.

Tonight (5th Dec), was the third night of their first tour, the final UK date and, as one half of Feng Suave, Daniel De Jong, told me after the show, was without doubt the “highlight of the tour so far”. Being their first tour, De Jong wasn’t too sure his vocals would last the duration, a question that had never entered my mind, especially given tonight’s established performance. His lead singer duties required his every vocal range and tone, even the soft croon and hushed notes were used to their full capacity – and you had to hand it to him, his pitch-shifting vocals were mesmerising. As an outfit, the keyboardist, drummer and guitar trio were cool and collected. They gifted us with their grace and warmth.

The evening may have been just as intimate as De Jong went onto compare with the Servants Jazz Quarters (their last London show) but there was definitely something magical about tonight. The interaction from their sold out crowd in response to their every track must have felt pretty rewarding, with the greatest audience chorus arriving with ‘Sink Into The Floor’. Their latest single: Venus Flytrap (an instant hit with BBC 6 Music) and the encore: Notre Ochre were personal highlights.

On the back of a successful year, amassing millions of streams for their eponymously titled debut EP, this tour for the Dutch duo (and touring ensemble) certainly cemented them as ones to watch here in the UK. There’s also a pretty good chance everyone went out into the night floaty, finding “…solace in just noticing the stars above..” It might be momentary but it’s all that we need, truly.

Follow Feng Suave on: Spotify // Twitter // Instagram // Facebook




The Great Escape Artist To Watch // Kevin Garrett

Live Reviews, Uncategorized

(Photographer: Will Steadman)

With roughly 300 gigs across 30 venues throughout the city, The Great Escape presents myriad opportunities for discovering new music. So while it was difficult choosing what to see at this festival and industry convention deemed Britain’s SXSW, Kevin Garrett was one of the first additions to my festival planner and I was determined not to miss him.

So it was on Friday evening that I head east along the coast to St George’s, an imposing Anglican Church dating from the 1800s. This venue has recently seen Bat for Lashes and Benjamin Clementine perform, among others, and holds an impressive 3,000 people (although tonight it’s a little less full).

Kevin Garrett is 25 and comes from Brooklyn-by- way-of-Pittsburgh. His moving lyricism and top-class musicianship have been displayed in numerous projects recently and he’s shared the stage with the likes of James Vincent McMorrow, Emily King and Norah Jones. His debut EP ‘Mellow Drama’, which includes songs ‘Coloring’ and ‘Control’ received critical acclaim, although he is relatively unknown on these shores. When I first discovered him last year (on a random Spotify playlist) he immediately stood out.

Garrett, playing solo tonight, sits straight down at his keys in the eloquently lit altar and launches into his first song. This is Garrett’s “Brighton debut” as he reticently announces, two songs in, and after some obligatory jokes about the British weather, he precedes with a half hour set of his eclectic blend of pop, R&B and soul. While his solo set lacks some of the energy a backing band would bring, it actually suits the serene setting of the church and he keeps the entire audience engaged throughout. His heady and resonant vocals really carry in the space, while sorrow colours every word he sings. It’s a moving set.

There’s another Garrett doing particularly well on this side of the pond at the moment (Jack, the London-based singer, producer and multi-instrumentalist) but personally, I prefer this one, who just sold out St Pancras Old Church in London the Monday just gone. And that may just be a sign of things to come.

Writer: Will Steadman: @steadman_will


Website: http://kevingarrettmusic.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KevinOGarrett
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kevingarrettmusic/