Gig Review by Chadwick Jackson with Photography by Wayne Fox

I made a conscious decision recently to never listen to music through a pair of headphones ever again, reason being, having spent my formative years consuming live music in some of the best musical venues in the country, coupled with very acute hearing and constantly, breaking, losing or having my headphones stolen by thin air, it is a brave decision, but it was one I was ready to live with, tonight was the point of no return, It was a brisk night on the 16th of October 2017, I had the pleasure of close friend to accompany me to see Michael Kiwanuka at The Symphony Hall Birmingham being supported by Bedouine, a very charming, charismatic an very funny soulful and folky songstress.

Michael Kiwanuka

Her eerie presence on stage, followed by a dead pan hosting style really loosened up the Birmingham crowd that have a reputation of being flat and very hard to engage with for new and up and coming acts. The half full hall was living up to its reputation, Bedouine persisted and broke through the resistance of the dead pan brigade, who with each passing song could not resist the allure of Bedouine’s charm and powerful voice. All the tracks from Bedouine came from her 2017 album which carries the same as her and is well worth some of your time, especially tracks Skyline, Minds Eyes and One Of These Days.

Bedouine

Bedouine

Music has long been my therapist and a place for me to quantify the thoughts running around in my head at 100miles per hour. It got a well deserved pit stop tonight in the Symphony Hall with the presence of Mr Kiwnuwaka and his exceptionally complimentary band. Michael’s music is the algorithm to the soul of a wanderer, the haunting wale of his raspy voice supported by the astute service of his band will leave you in a myriad of emotions.

Michael Kiwanuka

Michael Kiwanuka

At the risk of assuming you can tell he is someone that grew up listening to the classics vinyl’s of Black American Soul Music, the Tracey Chapman, Marvin Gaye, Bill Withers and a tinge of Led Zeppelin could all be felt as he bellowed out songs from his Mercury nominated masterpiece Love & Hate, tracks such as Rule The World, Cold Little Heart and Black Man were exquisitely delivered.

Michael KiwanukaMichael Kiwanuka

Michael Kiwanuka

The passion was raw, the music was soulful, the energy and delivery of every song had its own unique hall mark and sound, Every change of track was accompanied by a change of Guitar, and every sonic change in note could be heard and felt. This was the start of Michael’s tour, Symphony Hall was a fitting home for this incredibly gifted musical genius and his ten piece band, consisting of three backing singers, a drummer, two saxophones, bass and electric guitar players and a percussionist all of whom truly gave a scintillating account of themselves as a collective of musicians tonight. My only complaint about the show was that I wished it was longer. You are truly in for a treat when tonight’s sold out show rocks up to a venue near you.

Michael Kiwanuka

Michael Kiwanuka

See the complete photoset here.

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