Bright Light Bright Light at Oslo HackneyCultureMusicLive music
Rod Thomas aka Bright Light Bright Light is humble to the point of sycophancy, but his fans love the respect and appreciation he has for them. “All of you just by being here,” says Thomas, “helped some little guy from a Welsh mining village get to do his dream everyday.” Thomas clearly lives and breathes performance, and this energy has converted into huge adoration for him and his music. The diversity of the crowd his music attracts is striking: a pair of goths in the front row head-bang to The Symmetry of Two Hearts, a song inspired by Thomas’ obsession with Kim Cattrall’s dance sequence in Mannequin that seems incongruous with this response. Meanwhile, businessmen straight from work move in time to All in the Name, singing the lines of Anna Matronic’s rap in I Only Wanted to Please You. Without Anna Matronic there to sing her part, it fell to Thomas, which made the result feel like a cover.
One struggles to choose a favourite song from the evening, as they all seem to blur into one another – but that’s not necessarily a criticism: there is a fluidity throughout, each song improving the crowd’s mood until at least half of them forget the natural awkwardness inherent in the Englishman’s approach to dance. Oslo is a relatively small and intimate venue, with low-key staging and no troop of backing dancers – only Thomas busting his moves clad in a pastel blue suit and pink t-shirt. He talks to the crowd at points to thank them again for supporting him, which remains endearing on the whole.
A number of tracks from latest album Choreography are played; the album, the crowd is told, was inspired by dance sequences in films. Despite the record having been released less than two weeks ago, many fans can sing the lyrics word-for-word: proof of their dedication.
Bright Light Bright Light shines but does not blind. It is not exceptional music, but it is infectiously positive. It would be a struggle not to have a good time.
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Listen to The Symmetry of Two Hearts here: