Kevin Devine strums sweetly at the Borderline
Some people think that music has to be super-loud and in your face to have a long-lasting effect. But this isn’t always the case and there’s one man who proves otherwise.
Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter Kevin Devine provides lyrics that are not only from the heart, but are also thought-provoking.
Wearing an understated green top and jeans, he took to the stage at the Borderline in the heart of London to play a 90-minute set. This was his fourth show at this venue, and having last played here in 2009, his return is long overdue.
As soon as the gig started, I could see why the American singer has so many fans. With lyrics like whistle while you work your life away, Devine keeps his songs real. Each one has a different idea and a different emotion – all played with great fervour. Each member of his band worked together, feeding off each other and making the music vibrant and alive. Devine doesn’t wear his heart on his sleeve, but uses his deeply personal experiences to influence his music.
Playing old songs along with some from his recent album Between The Concrete & Clouds, which was released last year, the melodies kept flowing out. Song after song kept coming, as if Devine was compelled to keep playing. It was a hypnotic performance and his voice was in fine form, soothing and yet with a slight gravelly edge.
And yet at one point I was slightly worried that he hadn’t engaged with his audience or they weren’t completely connected to his music. A few people swayed and bobbed their heads up and down to the beat but there weren’t any wild moments of audience participation. But maybe this was a gig that you felt on the inside, rather than by expressing outwardly.
Kevin Devine managed to show everyone that you don’t need fancy guitars or complicated melodies to get your message across. All you need is honesty and emotion, and this man has it in abundance.
Watch Kevin Devine sing Brooklyn Boy here