Ron Pope dazzles the Camden crowd at KOKO
It’s Friday night at the Koko in Camden and the atmosphere is electric. Anybody unfamiliar with who was soon to take the stage was in for an overwhelmingly good surprise. For the majority who have had this date circled on their newly bought calendars for some time, even they must have been surprised at the quality of this show. The young man in charge of entertainment that night was American singer-songwriter, Ron Pope. The Georgia native who has been taking the US audience by storm has set foot in the heart of London to give us Brits a dose of what we are so sorely bereft of in the current music climate – heartfelt lyrical content, catchy choruses and memorable guitar riffs.
As he took to the stage, a concerto of excited cheers rose and filled club NME which set the precedent for the rest of the gig. Pope’s charisma is infectious and he charmed the young audience with a multitude of anthemic tunes and a pleasant American sprinkle of between-song banter.
The beautiful Fireflies and I Don’t Mind If You Don’t Mind were particular treats on the night, highlighting not only his vocal style, which is melodic and soothing, but the power of the voice itself. And my oh my, what a distinctive voice! A rejection-weathered yowl of rib-rattling pathos, its positively earnest force ensured all his best-loved songs were delivered with maximum resonance.
Comparisons to Bruce Springsteen are inevitable and it’s not something he denies; the Boss was a major influence on his work. It remains to be seen whether he’ll evolve his style to avoid such comparatives, and the over-sincerity of his lyrics may turn off a certain percentage of the population; however, it’s clear that Mr Pope is soon to become a force in the music industry. He has momentum, looks, likability and most importantly talent on his side. The songs are most definitely there and – judging by the ovation he received at the end of the gig – we won’t have seen the last of this much-loved musician.
Ron Pope, take a bow.
Photos: Adam Imiolo
Ron Pope is currently embarking on a European tour. For further information visit his website here.