It’s so easy, in this crazy world full of Trump on Twitter and Ex on the Beach on tv, to become accustomed to over exaggeration. When people say things are the ‘best’, I know I for one rarely take them seriously. But when I say that Loyle Carner’s gig last Saturday at the Waterfront genuinely, honestly was one of the best I’ve ever been to, I really mean it.
I’ve been a fan of Loyle Carner, or Benjamin Coyle-Larner to those who know him, for a little while now, but to see him perform live cemented his place even more firmly in my list of favourite artists of the moment, maybe even ever.
The stage setting was simple but poignant reflecting the style of Yesterday’s Gone, Loyle’s newly released debut. A projected black and white photo of his entire family covered the wall behind the stage, a fitting touch I thought, given that family features heavily in many of his songs, such as the moving ‘Florence’, his ode to an imagined unborn sister (“She could be my little freckled-face fidgeter, me but miniature”).
Loyle’s style of performing was simple too, working his way through the album from start to finish. But in no way could you have called this gig boring – genuine, passionate, humble, he was everything you could want from an artist, creating a buzzing yet intimate atmosphere.
He even managed to subdue with the kind of slightly drunken shoving that’s pretty much inevitable in a crowd (“come on guys, there’s plenty of room in here for all of us!”). It was clear how much he was loving being there, and even more so, just how the crowd was loving him being there.