Even Tom Misch himself couldn’t believe it, but he just had two completely sold out shows at the Roundhouse. Over three thousand young people gathered to celebrate the International Women’s Day dancing to the groovy jazz vibes, created by some incredibly talented, all twenty-something, highest quality London musicians.
Using plural here for a reason. Misch was expected to be the centre of a show, since it’s a part of his European and North American tour, promoting his upcoming debut full-length album Geography. And yes, he’s undoubtedly a professional, creating an absolutely euphoric atmosphere with his glossy sonics, while fully immersed in his own refreshing melodies and soulful improvisations.
However, the mellow voice was a bit hoarse and his lovely, but humble nature on stage required the use of some tricks. One of the solutions, which seemed to work, was sharing some well-known tunes, such as an instrumental version of Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely”, and a tear-provoking cover of Patrick Watson’s “Man Like You”, which will both be included in the forthcoming recording.
Surely, the audience also enjoyed Misch’s original tracks, happily singing along and even vocalizing the guitar and violin parts. Without skipping some of his grooviest tracks as “Colours Of Freedom“, “South Of The River” and “Watch Me Dance“, the singer presented a few of the newest, unreleased ones – the lyricless “Tick Tock” and the heart-warming “You’re On My Mind“, and the crowd kindly accepted all of it.
Though the main highlights of the night didn’t belong to Tom Misch only – having quite a number of collaborative tracks under his belt, one by one, he brought five unique guests to help him build a dynamic and memorable performance.
First of all, his sister Laura Misch, who was also the opening act, showed up with a saxophone to accompany her brother’s vocals on their inspiring chill-vibe track “Follow“, from his Reverie EP.
Shortly after, his lesser-known but not less talented sister Polly Misch joined him with her theatrical spoken intro and backing vocals on his upcoming album’s first single “Movie“. Such warm family aura was enhanced even more, knowing that the artwork framing the stage was made by their mother.
Emerging jazz singer and the owner of powerful vocals Poppy Ajudha also made a cameo, to perform one of the new album’s unheard tracks “Disco Yes” – and that’s when the real party started. Right after her, pop artist Zak Abel, naturally a showman, came up wearing a bright green suit and set the crowd in motion. The raise-your-hands-up and I-say-hey-you-say-ho kind of approach felt a little bit out of context, but the audience was totally hyped.
With no signs of stopping, Misch started playing his iconic J Dilla-inspired mashup and rapper Barney Artist jumped up on the stage for the remix of “Ill Vibe“. Though I must say, the best part on this piece was Tobie Tripp’s violin solo – this guy is a multi-instrumentalist, arranging strings for many great artists, he’s definitely worth to be mentioned and praised.
This was supposedly their last song… But, obviously, no one was ready to go home yet – especially the cheering crowd. Everybody returned on stage and didn’t disappoint, dropping one of the most anticipated songs – Tom’s very recent single “Water Baby“, featuring his buddy, Mercury prize-nominated Loyle Carner.
The rapper’s sudden appearance wasn’t much expected – it was an encore performance after all! This last guest, the cherry on top, drove the audience completely crazy, especially when the two friends revisited one of their previous collaborative works “Crazy Dream“. With an effective culmination, the show felt complete…
But… There’s still a question hanging in the air – would Misch be able to satisfy the crowd just by himself? There’s no doubt, he’s truly a young music genius, but this funky hip-hop inspired nu jazz isn’t for everyone, especially for those prepared to dance and sing along.
Tom Misch, a beatmaker since teenage years, now a speedily rising jazzy guitar virtuoso, might not be the most impressive frontman or the strongest headliner for huge venues, but he clearly has a power to attract and unite others like him. And his breath-taking music is here to stay.
Enough talking, basically, all that’s left to say is that… Geography is out on April 6! And you can pre-order it right here.
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Words by Gintarė Lomsargytė