Kye Sones at Zigfrid von Underbelly
Familiar to some as a contestant on last year’s series of The X Factor, Kye Sones is now promoting his debut EP, Seven – a collection of self-penned songs and a cover of Swedish House Mafia’s Save the World.
Zigfrid von Underbelly, a basement bar in Hoxton, is festooned with Halloween decorations and crammed full of people. A couple of excellent singer-songwriter support acts warm up the audience and Sones comes on with a guitarist and keyboardist to back him. There is no”hello,” instead he launches into the first song: Overdose.
There is little interaction with the audience; the singer rarely moves away from the mic stand and when he does he looks a bit lost, bobbing awkwardly and unsure what to do with his other hand. He sings well, at a constant level of intensity, with a pleasant, creamy voice. The audience is stationary and quite noisy, with a few clusters caught up in their own conversations. Others, however, are staring fixedly at Sones, rapt with admiration.
Save the World is turned into a gentle piano ballad, which works quite nicely in a basement bar and is strengthened by some crunchy jazz chords from the keyboardist. If there had been more, it would have been a great cover. The other songs are also mostly piano-driven, but none of them have enough of a hook or lyrical depth.
When he has finished the EP songs Sones sings a pop medley of No Scrubs, 7 Days, What Is Love, Let Me Love You, Empire State of Mind and Hold On We’re Going Home. He looks more comfortable, the audience starts to dance and he adds some impressive melisma to his vocals. He comes across as more confident and the music is enjoyable.
Sones is not offering anything new to a saturated pop scene in terms of style, lyricism or sound. But he is persevering with the hard parts of being a musician – the cycle of composition, recording and performance – away from the big-money X Factor structures. He does have a fantastic voice and, with some more songs that have more variation, he could be great.
Photos: Adnan Mohamedy
For further information and future events visit Kye Sones’s website here.
Watch the video for Keep Running here: