Ady Suleiman at Hoxton Bar & Kitchen
A very calm and collected Ady Suleiman took to the stage in front of a sell-out crowd at Hoxton Bar & Kitchen on Thursday night. Fans, who had been waiting on their feet in the sweaty venue, whooped with delight as the boy from Grantham began his nine-song set. Starting with the lively (if grammatically incorrect) Why You Running Away?, the young singer had an air of Chet Faker about him, with a backing band that is reminiscent of an early The Cat Empire. It’s an interesting mix that actually works quite well, but that, before long, descends into Westlife meets The Wailers, with poppy vocal harmonies, tired, offbeat guitar strumming, and bass that swamps the rest of the instruments.
Unfortunately, before long the gig slipped, all too easily, into a recital as opposed to a performance. Songs were played well, but the presence was not there. The crowd might as well have stood in a dark room filled with dry ice listening to Suleiman’s What’s the Score EP, as opposed to paying for their tickets. The backing band was tight, but Ady did not interact with his crowd and seemed to rush from song to song as though he had something better to be doing. By his fourth number, So Lost, people were already starting to chat amongst themselves. The singer’s voice, which sounds endearingly choked up on the record, translated to “strangled border collie” on the stage, and his occasionally impressive vocal trills were more irritating than clever.
While sometimes musically impressive, with an incredibly well rehearsed band behind him and infrequent moments of brilliance from the young star, the performance left a lot to be desired. Suleiman’s cool-headedness on stage soon started to reek of arrogance befitting a seasoned professional, which Ady, unfortunately, is not.
Finishing up his short set with perhaps his best-known track, State of Mind, it is clear his adoring crowd were, for the most part, ready to leave. The music was good but swiftly became tedious, a monotonous drone instead of short, snappy gig. Without anything to hold the attention of the crowd, the kid from Grantham had irrevocably lost it. It’s a shame, given the evident musical ability, but Suleiman still has a lot to learn.
For further information about Ady Suleiman and future events visit here.
Watch the video for State of Mind here: