Lewis Watson at the Forum
You could be forgiven for thinking that the last thing your music collection needs is another adolescent singer-songwriter musing about teenage heartbreak, but when they’re the quality of Lewis Watson, there’s always room for one more. This 20-year-old, self-taught musician from Oxford has built up an impressive following in recent years, and many of them have come down early to fill up the spacious Kentish Town Forum.
The perfectly pleasant Once Before begins this evening’s set. It’s the first track from his second EP of 2012 – humourously titled Another Four Sad Songs – and it quickly transpires that Watson’s main skill is making emotive music that isn’t a drain to listen to. Unlike supremo chart-toppers such as Dido and Coldplay, just two examples of acts whose music can be so often drenched in dolefulness, Watson delivers his songs with a refreshingly brisker tone, rather than a morose one. Track two Even If follows and only serves to reiterate this point. Live, the venue’s sound system adds a layer of forcefulness to the tracks that isn’t present on the studio recordings.
We’re only treated to a handful of songs tonight: old track Windows is laced with a country-esque guitar riff and gentle vocals, and it saunters along very enjoyably; Sink Or Swim begins with a playful, choppy guitar but soon becomes something genuinely sweet with its affecting chorus line “I’ll be holding on to you for dear life”.
The ultimate sign of Watson’s likeability can be seen in how he’s able to talk about his high-ranking charts positions, or his amusement at how a certain red-haired Spice Girl has been sending him his own lyrics, without ever being smug. Rather he’s someone who’s simply and honestly surprised at his own good fortune and wants to share it with his fans. And the actual screams of delight that emit from the crowd show that they’re more than happy for him to do so.
Photos: Marga Moner
For further information and future events visit Lewis Watson’s website here.
Watch the video for Calling here: