Josef Salvat at Oslo Hackney
Probably best known for his cover of Diamonds by Rihanna, Australian singer-songwriter Josef Salvat takes to the stage at Oslo Hackney. With ambient lighting, the rustic-chic venue provides the perfect setting for Salvat to perform on his first tour as the headliner. The singer is clearly very modest, conveying to the audience his surprise in how quickly tickets for the gig have sold out.
Despite this modesty, Salvat enters the performance space with a confident, relaxed assurance, commencing with a love ballad. He gradually builds the pace up with subsequent songs, as the rest of the band joins in. With three other band members on drums, bass, guitar “and gadgets,” as Salvat describes them, the sound is powerful and easy to get lost in. The backing vocalists add depth, but do not drown out the velvet tones of Salvat’s voice that also boast a large range.
Salvat can definitely be commended as a songwriter; each song has its own definition, and although synthetic and electronic, they are thoughtfully melodic and soulful. Introducing one of his most successful songs, Salvat is proud to announce that Hustler was the track of the day on BBC Radio One on the day of the concert. Accompanied by the piano, a stillness and lighting focus build a certain intimacy to this piece. During a brief interval, Salvat explains that many of his songs are autobiographical. This is evident in his personal ballads about love which, with an air of troubadour, are lyrically and melodically poignant, composed primarily in a minor key. Salvat follows the mood of the crowd, keeping their attention by interspersing songs with an allegro tempo among the ballads. The sway of the audience proves that everyone is immersed in the performance and the music; the raptures of the odd person mouthing the words along with the songs is supportive. A great deal of enthusiasm is shown when the favourite hits are played, such as Open Season, and the audience do not shy away from demanding an encore at the end of the set.
Considering artist Sia’s influence on Salvat’s music, it is fitting that his encore should be Diamonds, written for Rihanna by Sia. The well-known cover became a hit when used for a Sony 4K HDTV advert; those who are not keen on the original song may find Salvat’s version is something of an improvement on Rihanna’s performance.
Photos: Zak Macro
For further information about Josef Salvat and future events visit here.
Watch Josef Salvat’s cover of Diamonds here: