My favourite music venue in London, Omeara held host to the mesmerisingly soulful Bruno Major on Wednesday, November 15. Warming up an already friendly crowd was rising talent Jack Vallier, gracing the stage with effortless vocals, emotive lyrics and catchy pop tracks, he is certainly one to watch. There is no doubt he will closely follow in the footsteps of Bruno with a sold out headline show as his musical journey to success unravels over the coming months.
A beautiful stream of songs flowed throughout Bruno’s set. With most found on his collection A Song For Every Moon which saw the release of a new track every month from last August through to this Summer. The audience gave off a gentle but excitable buzz which rippled through the venue.
He began the set with the collective’s debut “Wouldn’t Mean a Thing“, which reflected a similar vibe to James Blake’s “Retrograde”. As the lighting turned to red, a lively remake of “Like Someone In Love” was next. It combined vintage blues, and constant whooping from the crowd in reaction to the epic finger work with the guitar as it transitioned into a flat out jam session.
He really opened with a bang. A wave of sincerity swept the arches as he thanked the crowd for coming, a sold out show and you could barely move. It was so beautifully intimate as every set of eyes was engaged throughout.
Steering away from stories of love and romance “Cold Blood” injected the set with some light R&B, as electronic elements subtly caressed the track. It ultimately sheds some light on Bruno’s tumultuous journey in the music industry after being dropped from his label. His on stage persona was laid back and honest, much like his songwriting, the combination of both left the whole setting visually so minimalistic but so enriching in sound.
Next was the compassionate “Fair-Weather Friend” which brought an essence of yearning and sadness, the respectful crowd gently swaying to this piano driven ballad. With such emotionally available lyrics and such a strong presence at the forefront of the stage, Bruno could have connected with his audience just through his performance.
However, the set did not fall short of some chit-chat and wit. Introducing his spine tinglingly talented band Slim Gabriel and Rocco Pallodino, he joked that “we sound like the teenage mutant turtles”.
“Just The Same” had Bruno asking “Who’s been dumped before?” as he took to the keys for this next track. Constant relation to the lyrics, the crowd were hanging on to every word. With someone shouting “She didn’t deserve you” as he began the intro.
White lighting blanketed the stage and his silky smooth vocals almost whispered to the audience for “Places We Won’t Walk“. It had an old school hollywood feel, a perfectly fitting track for a romance novel brought to life, the feeling of a magical motion picture came to my mind, the audience so still, I’m sure so transfixed in their own wistfulness.
“Giant Steps” instilled the audience with high spirits. A driving force of percussion and heavy bass flipped the emotions you may have felt during the previous track straight on its head, something Bruno seemed to have really nailed.
The room was bursting at the seams, the whole vibe had been so easy-going throughout, we were all embraced in a warm hug of enlightening jazz elements and soulful pop for “There’s Little Left“. This continued effortlessly into arguably his most well known track “Easily“. A track fuelled with musical intelligence. As the crowd unsurprisingly called for more, “I don’t have many songs left!” he responded lightheartedly.
The crowd were so mellow, it was as though he was just speaking to a room of all his closest friends, drawing you in with such security. The lighting transitioned to a melancholy blue for “Second Time“, the audience were constantly singing back all the lyrics to him like additional gang vocals.
The energy did not falter at any moment during the whole time him and his band were performing, passion seeping out of all three of them, it was pure homegrown talent. I guess if he was running out of songs, performing a cover of “Going Home” by Drake seemed like the answer! It was almost unrecognisable and a really fun addition to the set.
The venue felt like it was in a giant dream-like bubble, the show was balanced with so much light and shade. It was perfectly thought out and the visualisation that each song brought, was as though he was guiding me through each season of the year. It left me feeling such a mixture of emotions, from believing in love, to remembering heartbreak and then the wonderfully fitting finisher “Home” which oozed nostalgia.
To be completely honest, the set really spoke for itself, this is less of a review and more of a keep-sake of a charmingly natural performance that left the crowd at total ease. I definitely left the venue feeling a little lighter. It is with no doubt that Bruno will not just be known as Major by nature he will soon to be Major by name, a musical magician and a voice of velvet, this man will be blessing your ears for years to come.
With such graceful on stage mannerisms and a timeless sound, his career as both a songwriter and artist will be sure to climb from strength to strength. There is most definitely a space waiting patiently at the top for Bruno Major.
Words by Jodie Brunning